On 15 October 2018, the Centre for Gender and Science organised a brunch with Eva Zažímalová, President of Czech Academy of Sciences and early-career women researchers. The room was packed, with 75 researchers, some with small babies.
“It just shows there are big problems and obstacles that young women researchers face. Those require immediate attention and systematic solution,” says Marcela Linková, head of the Centre.
Professor Zažímalová talked about her personal path to science. Her father, also a researcher, was very supportive of her and her interest in science, which she considers a great asset. “If young girls who want to study science do not have support in their family, they are handicapped and have to overcome plenty of barriers,” she said.
The rich discussion that followed highlighted the many issues facing early-career women researchers, including work-life balance issues, the constraints of the grant system and research evaluation. Some women researchers also talked about experience of outright discrimination, including pay discrimination. We had great feedback from the participants and plan to organize such an event soon again.