France, which tops math awards, is the worst student when it comes to gender equality among its researchers.
With less than 25% women among teacher-researchers in universities and research institutes, mathematics is one “Troops of Scientific Fields” In terms of gender equality, Marie-Francois Roy, professor emeritus at the University of Rennes, condemns. “All agree to observe, but when there are questionable matters we do not touch them”This figure judges the observing scientist harshly “Stable for 15 years”.
In so-called pure or basic mathematics, the proportion of women among teachers is even lower: 7%. To explain this phenomenon, scientists use the metaphor of a “leaky pipe”: the role of women in the basic sciences in general, and in mathematics in particular, decreases as they advance into the professional world in these fields.
A disparity arising from secondary education, even primary education, researchers gathered at the roundtable. Fundamentals of Mathematics Organized in Paris by the CNRS.
A “collective examination of conscience” is required
Is the return of compulsory mathematics education in the public examination for first grade for all high school students at the beginning of the academic year 2023 good news? Through a domino effect, the first edition of the high school reform was launched in 2019. Decline in numbers of girls following math proficiency With reinforced teaching of discipline for baccalaureate.
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Roundtable participants make a good point for national education, even if other mathematicians gather together. As regards higher education or research, “Women are leaving because they are not being heard, not being recognized and not being promoted enough”Professor Roy argues, inviting the mathematical community “A Collective Examination of Conscience in the Matter”.
Prohibition of allotment
But beyond primary school gender stereotypes, the right formula still needs to be found. Many academics or researchers point to the duty of geographic mobility, which forces those promoted to the position of lecturer or professor to change institutions. A duty that women experience much worse than men.
The sensitive meaning of appropriation is part of the equation. According to Guillaume Hollard, Professor of Value Economics Polytechnic UniversityX “The school is capped at 10-12% girls to the extent that they are considering not imposing 20% girls with quotas.”.
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Allotments a “Complete Prohibition” For a long time, adds Marie-Françoise Roy, chair of the Commission on Women in Mathematics of the International Mathematical Union. This suggests a growing consensus in the community of mathematicians “Affordable Measures for Consolidation and Promotion” For women, countries such as Germany and the United States have performed well in this area in recent decades.
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To Etienne Guise, Permanent Secretary of the Academy of Sciences “13% female members”, the situation is slowly improving as the company must have so many candidates. As Stephen Jaffert of the National Institute of Mathematical Sciences and their Interactions (INSMI) reminds us, “Many studies and efforts have been made to support the balance”The problem is their lack of scientific evaluation.
These projects “It’s hard to evaluate because they’re not built for that.”, explains Guillaume Hollard. One second “blocking” A very long time depends on him to obtain data that allows him to evaluate the effectiveness of a program. Ironically, Etienne Guise noted, “The mathematical community is not very fond of being evaluated numerically.”. Shame on experienced scientists!