Gender bias: a ladder made for men

Gender bias, whether conscious or unconscious affects women at each level of academia. In this exploratory piece, EuroScientist explore the factors driving such bias and looks for solutions to remedy them. Find out more by reading the view of experts from across Europe and decide for yourself about the type of interventions that have been implemented to fight gender bias.

From Mindful Nation to Mindful Europe

Mindfulness is credited with helping people undergo an inner transformation, which could help bring about change in the world. In an opinion piece, former British MP, Chris Ruane, talks about the recommendation of a new UK report, called Mindful Nation, to ensure that the mental health benefits of mindfulness can be brought to areas as diverse as education, health, criminal justice and the work place. He also shares his vision on how this practice could be extended at EU-wide level, with further adoption by MPs and MEPs across the political sprectrum.

Sexual harassment’s insidious nature makes it persistent

Examples of men who are really interested beyond professional boundaries in one of their – often clearly younger – female colleagues are widespread. Typically, the men do not want to accept these women’s refusals and start harassing them. Often, the trouble is that the harassment is underhand. One difficulty is that there is a fine line between providing compliments and harassing someone, often due to cultural differences. Although women are mostly affected, men are also victims of sexual harassment.

Part-time managers in Europe: culture and gender matter

Achieving a work-life balance is a challenge for many people working today. Yet, the idea of a shorter working week is undergoing something of a revival. Part-time work can, in principle, contribute to calming down the ‘rush hour of life’. However, it is not always a possible. This is particularly the case for people in management positions. The proportion of managers working part-time varies considerably across countries. Our multilevel analyses show that it is cultural factors and normative expectations rather than legal regulations, which explain these differences.

Hazardous chemicals crossing borders

Anyone who has stood in line to have their bags, boots and body checked before getting on an aeroplane will know that international borders are well protected. After all, that young mother with her squealing baby could so easily be carrying more than the requisite quantity of fluid in a plastic bottle in her hand luggage. The old gentleman with the walking frame? Who’s to say he hasn’t packed it with old-school sticks of dynamite ready to hijack an autumnal tourist flight packed with mini-breakers. That surly teenager’s personal music player with its incessant “tss, tss, tss” and fragile glass touch screen? It could so easily be converted into a lethal weapon with a sharp blow to the arm of the aircraft seat releasing a shard of sharp glass with which to threaten the crew while they point to the exits and mime putting on an oxygen mask in case of the aircraft losing cabin pressure…

Sustaining research through the economic downturn – in the UK and Europe

On the 6th and 7th of September 2010, the historic Midland hotel in central Manchester, UK was filled with nearly 400 participants attending the Vitae Researcher Development Conference. The discussion of ideas on professional development and support for researchers at this year’s annual gathering is of particular importance, as it comes cheek by jowl with the UK spending review outcomes to be announced this Autumn – and with an expectation of hard times to come. The conference participants were set to discuss the new political context, to gather evidence of the contribution of researchers to the academic base and to economic and cultural prosperity, and to address future skill sets of researchers and the UK’s place in the global research environment.