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Advancing Women in Bone Science and Research

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    This September, UCB will be attending the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, to meet with clinical and academic leaders in the field. These leaders will include a diverse range of scientists, as well as the Women in Bone and Mineral Research Committee, a group dedicated to mentoring women within the Society in areas such as career advancement, academic promotions, and combining a career with family.

    Diversity is something that UCB has always both valued and celebrated; therefore, as part of ASBMR 2017, UCB is proud to be sponsoring the Women in Bone and Mineral Research Evening Network Reception on Friday 8th September. This event aims to foster conversations and connections among attendees, as well as present an opportunity to discuss career challenges faced by women in science.

    Events like these are vitally important, especially when faced with statistics from the World Economic Forum that have estimated, at the current rate of progress, it will take until 2133 to close the global gender gap across health, education, economic opportunity and politics.

    And in science, the numbers are similarly worrying. While women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, they only make up 29% of the science and engineering workforce.  In a similar trend, according to WISE, a UK campaign for gender balance in science, technology and engineering, the number of female science professionals dropped from 50% of the UK workforce in 2015 to 41% in 2016, representing a decrease of 14,000 women in science-related professions in the UK.

    The reason for this disparity is often attributed to ‘a lack of role models, lack of women in senior roles and lack of access to senior roles for women’, according to a recent survey of women by the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

    But the tide is turning. UCB’s 2015 'science survey’ of 234 UK school children, showed that science is the most popular school subject, with slightly more girls (35%) choosing it as their favourite subject than boys (27%). To continue this trend, women across science should be recognised for their excellence in their field of study, providing young girls with role models whose career paths can provide an example. In addition, research institutes and scientific organisations should recognise and reward women in science with the senior roles that have, until recently, been primarily occupied by men.

    The Women in Bone and Mineral Research Reception therefore provides a valuable forum in which women can discuss the rewards and barriers they face in their scientific careers. And committees such as ASBMR’s Women in Bone and Mineral Research help to support and further the advancement and impact of women in science.

    For more updates on UCB activities at ASBMR 2017 follow us on Twitter. To learn more about UCB in osteoporosis, go to our section Disease areas.

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