female/male ratio

hmcarv at fm.ul.pt hmcarv at fm.ul.pt
Mon Apr 24 10:21:50 EST 1995

Hi everybody
I'm writing from Portugal and I would like to ask for your experience in
the following subject:
In Portugal the percentage of female students at Universities is
overcoming that of male students - females are now over 60% of the
students. Certain courses, like medicine follow this percentage well.
Still, there are very big differences between other disciplines - some
areas like electronics or physics have a very low percentage of females
(like 10 or 20%) whereas in others like Biology they can make about 80% of
the students. Does this occur in your countries too? What are your
thoughts and ideas about it?
In science, women are also starting to predominate. The number of female
scientists is also overcoming that of male scientists, at least in the
area of biological sciences. All you have to do is to visit a lab to see
that this is true. Still, when it comes to positions, especially leading
ones, most are held by men. I don't know if there is an age effect here,
since this change is still somewhat recent, and in the generation before
the one graduating now, most of these percentages would not be true.

Note: these numbers are aproximate.   

Any coments?

Margarida Carvalho
Institute of Histology and Embriology
Lisbon Faculty of Medicine

Lisbon, Portugal

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