Women in Science Print E-mail

Monday 31 August, 14:00 to 15:30 - Room O-O1


EMBO/FEBS Women in Science Session

Life scientists, both male and female, are invited to join this lively discussion of issues facing women in their life science career choice.


Gender differences in communication and show(wo)manship

Men and women use different communication and self-presentation styles. How does this affect the success of men and women in science?

A study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has shown that women are awarded less grant money then men, mostly because they ask for less. Is this also true when women present their research results, conduct an interview or negotiate positions? Do women get short-changed or short-change themselves by under-selling themselves?
How does this affect interactions with students, collaborators, colleagues or superiors?

With insights from communication sciences and linguistics, this session aims to increase everyone’s awareness of the importance of how they are perceived from the outside.

Professor Caja Thimm, Institute of Communication Sciences, Bonn University, DE


Title & Synopsis:

Gendered Communication in Professional Settings

The role of the construction of gender profiles (male/female) through communication in the professional world has become an important focus in the field of gender research. Studies show: professional success is frequently not only based on factual competence, but rather depends on various aspects of social behavior. Especially stereotypes and expectations held by individuals and/or instititutions towards male and female performance influence decision making processes. As more and more women enter the work force and compete for higher positions in the business world and in science, the role of gendered communication cultures becomes more and more influential.
Two models which try to explain gendered communication will be introduced briefly: the sex stereotype-hypothesis and the sex-dialect hypotheses. Based on research on verbal communication in team meetings, it will be exemplified how gendered self and other perceptions and expectations can influence communication in work-place settings and, presumably, professional success as well.


Panel Discussion:

  • Pascale Cossart FR
  • Titia De Lange US
  • Michael Hengartner CH


EMBO is pleased to join with FEBS, the Federation of European Biochemical Societies, to offer this session. Raising awareness of career issues for women scientists is a priority for both organisations. Each year, the FEBS/EMBO Women in Science Award recognises and rewards the exceptional achievements of a female scientist in life sciences research over the previous five years. Winners of the award are role models who inspire future generations of women in science.