Susan Greenfield

Scientist • Writer • Broadcaster

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Women in Science

Championing the cause for women in science.

As one of the world’s most vociferous female scientists and the first female director of the Royal Institution, Susan is all too familiar with the challenges facing women in science.

In 2002, Susan authored a report for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) called ‘SET Fair: On the Recruitment and Retention of Women in Science’.

The report outlined several issues that needed addressing - from science in education, to the hurdles facing female scientists in the workplace. In particular:

  • The unpopularity of science with schoolgirls;
  • The unpopularity of the physical sciences;
  • Sexism and the glass ceiling for senior posts;
  • Childcare provision for non-tenured female scientists.

Until 2010, Susan worked with L’Oreal and UNESCO as Chair of their ‘returner’ scheme for women in science. The scheme was designed to encourage mothers back into the scientific profession by offering grants on a competitive basis.

Whilst some progress has been made, many of the above issues are still a concern. It is a topic close to Susan’s heart and she continues to champion the cause.

Susan is frequently called on to speak with policy makers, the media and at public and private sector events. Most recently, she has given talks on the subject to companies such as Barclays Bank and McKinsey’s.

Greenfield gave a talk on this subject was to KPMG Luxembourg. Please find press coverage on this event here (german version) and here (french version).

Most recently, Susan delivered a talk in celebration of 100 years of Women's Membership of The Physiological Society. Find out more about the Society, here.