A resource for journalists, educators, policy makers, scientists, and anyone needing scientific expertise
The Request a Woman Scientist platform connects our extensive multidisciplinary network of vetted women in science with anyone who needs to consult a scientist for a news story, invite a keynote speaker or panelist for a conference or workshop, find a woman scientist to collaborate on a project, or serve as a subject matter expert in any capacity. Importantly, 500 Women Scientists is committed to diversity and inclusion, not just in our scientific fields, but in our society as a whole.
We need more women's voices in the public sphere. Too often, high-profile articles, conference panels, and boards are filled with a disproportionate number of male voices. News stories are reported by more men by a huge margin, and this imbalance is reflected in how frequently women are quoted in news stories unless journalists make a conscious effort to reach out. Most keynote speakers at conferences are men. Panels are so frequently all-male that a new word evolved to describe the phenomenon: manels. These imbalances add up and reinforce the inaccurate perception that science is stale, pale and male. Even though women are a huge part of the scientific community and make up half of the population, women's voices have been historically low or entirely absent in public spaces. These imbalances ultimately deny leadership opportunities to women in science, especially women who face additional forms of discrimination. It is time for a change.
We need more women's voices — in the media, at scientific conferences, at universities, in government. We, 500 Women Scientists, are creating a solution to this gender gap, from manels to largely male keynote speakers at scientific conferences to the prominence of males as policy makers.