The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee today published its report on women in scientific careers. The Royal Society of Chemistry submitted written evidence to this consultation and is quoted extensively in the report.
The Royal Society of Chemistry's president, Professor Lesley Yellowlees, said in response to the report: "We are pleased that the committee shared our disappointment that funding for the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (UKRC) was cut. The centre played an important role in providing a single, immediately identifiable source of information, support and advice for women scientists and their employers.
"There are alternative BIS-funded programmes now in place, but if government isn't able to demonstrate that these are as effective as the UKRC we would urge them to look again at funding a flagship organisation to champion the interests of women in scientific careers across all disciplines, like the UKRC or the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) in the United States.
She continued: "We are also pleased that the report acknowledges the need for data to comprehensively track where women are going to work after they graduate from scientific courses at university. This is seriously lacking at the moment.
"As scientists we work with data every day because we need it to understand the phenomena that we are researching. In the same way, we need the right information about women scientists leaving academia to get a clear understanding of the situation and to use it as a solid base for shaping future policy.
"Of course, diversity issues in science extend beyond gender and many of the issues addressed in this report, such as the need for more data, are relevant to people from different backgrounds across the scientific community. What is most important is that science is an inclusive environment built upon the skills, knowledge and experience of the very best scientists."