Schools must encourage gifted female pupils to study science beyond GCSE
Just 22% of physics A-level candidates and only 7% of science professors are female, reports the Observer.
The newspaper also quotes Professor Lesley Yellowlees, president elect of the Royal Society of Chemistry, on the 'inflexible working hours, macho culture and recruitment policies akin to an "old boys' club"' in the discipline.
Professor Yellowlees pointed out that the closure of the UK Resource Centre for Women - the only body providing grants for women in science - threatened to compound the problem, adding that there was now no 'focal point' for encouraging women into science.
Inspiring enrichment activities can be one way of encouraging gifted female pupils to continue with science to A-level and beyond. Andrew Jackson describes how Hitchin Girls' School increased take-up of physics A-level via an extracurricular astronomy programme.