In January 2002 the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, the Rt. Hon. Patricia Hewitt MP, asked me to prepare a high level report outlining a strong and effective approach for the UK on the difficulties for women in science, with specific points for action.
She was concerned that women in science are not appropriately represented in all aspects of the scientific career path, in both the private and public sectors, a concern she shares with the Minister for Science and Innovation Lord Sainsbury, the Chief Scientific Advisor Professor David King and the Director General of the Research Councils Dr John Taylor,
There was consensus that something needed to be done, but it was far harder to pinpoint realistic key action points with the potential to be immediately effective.
I was delighted to take up this challenge, as I have a strong personal conviction that any individual should be able to work in science to the extent, and at the level, appropriate for their personal choices, and commensurate with their abilities, but without gender as a constraining factor.
My sights we re set on delivering a small number of clear action points to define a new integrated approach.