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4 women in academia

Many people assume that men and women have equal opportunities to be successful in an academic career. Yet women continue to be approached and treated differently than men, in ways that impact on their scientific career prospects. This website is designed to elucidate the specific challenges  women have to overcome to realize their scientific  ambitions , and where possible eliminate these.

Four female full professors have united under the name Athena’s Angels, to defend the interests of women academics.  The mission of Athena’s Angels is to offer men and women truly equal opportunities to advance in their scientific career. What is needed to achieve this? 

Know the facts   -   Report maltreatment   -   Ask for advice   -   Recognize sexism   -   Join forces 


Pallas Athena

athenaThe Greek goddess Pallas Athena is the feisty goddess of wisdom. The owl is her symbol. It is true: she was born, fully armed, from the head of her father Zeus, and can be pretty male-identified at times. The first women in academia did sometimes show this trait. But we are happy to carry out our missions under Athena’s aegis.



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Exhibition: Herstory at Leiden University

The exhibition Herstory: Leiden Leading Ladies can be seen in the 'Oude UB' at Leiden University. The exhibition, carefully curated by students from the Museums and Collections Master, will focus on the women connected to the University. From 1900 onwards, women have played a big role behind the scenes and in the spotlights to help create the institution Leiden University has become today.

Read more here

Mixed effects of diversity training

A recent article in PNAS investigated the efficacy of a short evidence-based diversity training about women at work. The authors show that the diversity training successfully produced attitude change, but not behavior change, among employees whose average untreated attitudes were relatively less supportive of women than other groups. On the other hand, the training resulted in behavior change among employees whose average untreated attitudes were already strongly supportive of women. These results denote the limited efficacy of diversity training, especially among those groups whose behaviors policymakers are most eager to influence.

Read the full article here

Eight things to know when interpreting sex and gender differences in scientific research

Cordelia Fine, Daphna Joel, and Gina Rippon describe eight things to consider when interpreting scientific research on sex and gender differences. 

Read the article here