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Gender equality: Left holding the ladder

Efforts to provide equal opportunities for women in academia can backfire on those they are meant to help, Ben Upton reports.

Just 20 per cent of senior researchers in Europe are women, according to European Commission data. But while few people concerned with equality and performance would oppose tackling such an imbalance, attempts to do so have had unforeseen negative consequences.

Across the continent, programmes in schools stoke girls’ natural curiosity through science camps and workshops. Other initiatives aim to help women making the long climb to professorships.

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