Barcelona BioMed Forum

From woman to woman: Practical advice on how to get and stay ahead in science

21 Jul 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008 - IRB Barcelona, 10 am – 2 pm

If you take a look at into an average life sciences research laboratory at any of Spain’s universities or research institutes you’re sure to see teams of young, motivated researchers, working hard on their experiments. Chances are, at least among the younger researchers you’ll see a roughly equal mix of men and women. But as researchers advance in their careers, the female scientsts begin to disappear. Recent statistics show that while more than half the student population in Europe is female, women hold only 15% of full professorships (She Figures 2006, EU).

It is no surprise that women leave science in disproportionately higher numbers during the later stages of their academic career. Factors such as starting a family, adjusting their own careers to suit their partners or competition for research grants and fellowships represent real impediments for career advancement in science for women. And though a number of intiatives at the national and European level have made some headway in bridging the gender gap, the problem persists.

But what is really needed to overcome the gender bias and ensure that women have an equal chance at becoming top scientists? What practical steps can be taken and what can a young woman researcher do to take control of her future in science?

These and other questions will be discussed at the next Barcelona BioMed Forum, "From woman to woman: Practical advice on how to get and stay ahead in science". The event will bring together leading scientists and policy makers from Spain, Europe and the US for a hands-on working session with the local scientific community of female researchers in Barcelona.


  • Mary Osborn, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany
  • Catherine Didion, Executive Director, Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine, National Academies, USA
  • Capitolina Díaz, Permanent Representation of Spain to the EU - Formerly Women and Science Unit, Ministry of Science and Innovation, Belgium
  • Maria Luisa Lois, CSIC research scientist, Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) CSIC-IRTA-UAB, Barcelona, Spain

Moderated by Joan J. Guinovart, IRB Barcelona Director

Followed by a working lunch with IRB Barcelona women scientists.

Organised by IRB Barcelona with the collaboration of the Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Foundation.

Download Forum Poster (PDF)


Registration deadline: July 14, 2008.
There is no registration fee for this conference, but the number of participants is limited.


  • 10.00 Introduction by Joan J. Guinovart
  • 10.15 - 11.00 Mary Osborn
    How to achieve gender equity in science
  • 11.00 - 11.45 Catherine Didion
    Creating your scientific image & persona: A critical skill in advancing in science
  • 11.45 - 12.15 Coffee break
  • 12.15 - 13.00 Capitolina Díaz
    The advancement of female scientists, why so slow?
  • 13.00 - 13.45 Maria Luisa Lois
    Following the path to become a principal investigator. Barcelona 2008.
  • 13.45 - 14.00 Conclusions
  • 14.00 Working lunch with IRB Barcelona women scientists in the PCB administration building


Auditorio Antoni Caparrós
Torre D - Parc Cientific de Barcelona
C/Baldiri Reixac, 4-6
08028 Barcelona
(Campus de la Diagonal, Universitat de Barcelona)