The London Mathematical Society (LMS) has launched a report looking into the relative scarcity of women in mathematics, particularly in the higher levels of research and teaching in the UK.
The report, Advancing women in mathematics: Good practice in UK university departments, examines the ‘surprisingly small’ proportion of women in the UK who go from an undergraduate degree in mathematics to study for a PhD in the subject. Its findings include the fact that although more than 40 per cent of graduates in the mathematical sciences are female, there is a significant drop-off in the proportion of women who become academic mathematicians (6 per cent of mathematics professors in the UK are female).
The report also provides insight into areas of good practice and aims to provide inspiration for mathematics departments in universities to address the gender imbalance – an area that is expected to become increasingly important light of the recent statement by the UK Research Councils on Expectations for Equality and Diversity
The report was launched at the House of Commons at the end of February, in an event hosted by MPs Andrew Miller, Stephen Metcalfe, (both members of the Science and Technology Committee) and Julian Huppert (member of the Home Affairs Select Committee). Margaret Wright, from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, was guest speaker.
The report is available to view on the LMS website
(opens as pdf) and hard copies are also available. Further information on the work of the LMS Women in Mathematics Committee is available here