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Minister Looks for Signs of Gender Bias in Federal Science Departments

By June 15, 2018No Comments

Federal Science Minister Kirsty Duncan has made it clear that gender equity in science is a big priority for her. And now she’s looking beyond universities to scientists employed by the federal government.

Duncan said in an interview in Toronto this week that she has asked science-based departments in the federal government to collect demographic data about their staff following a union survey that found:

  • 42 per cent of female federal scientists, engineers and researchers who responded thought gender bias was a career barrier.
  • 27 per cent believe men are favoured in opportunities for leadership roles.

But Duncan isn’t relying on the union’s own study.

“I think we have to know what the data is,” she said.

The survey was released in March by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), which represents more than 15,000 federal scientists, engineers and researchers in 40 science-based departments and agencies.