Gender perspective in the lab

  • Creator
  • #1687

    Dear all,

    My name is Eva Maria Gomez Alvarez, I am a new member of Plantae! As a feminist and a plant biotechnologist, I would like to launch a question that is going through my mind for weeks now: How do we apply a gender perspective in our day-to-day work? I am gonna suggest some solutions that I have been thinking about:

    – Cite more women! We need to stand up for women’s work and the best thing is to give visibility to it.

    – Give your space to other women that are more oppressed than you. We are always talking about our perspective, but inclusivity and intersectionalism are vital to have the whole picture.

    – Be aware of the oppressions that exist in your lab and fight them, answer people, fight for your name where it needs to be.

    I would LOVE to listen more about your ideas. THANKS!



  • Gender perspective in the lab


    July 30, 2021 at 6:42 am

    I think maintaining an equal male: female ratio in a lab would have perspectives from both sides, and the collaborated efforts could lead to a more equal work environment.


    August 3, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    Hi! Thanks for your answer!

    I agree with you, that is for sure necessary. However, nowadays we have more female students than male students. Still, PI possitions are ruled by men. I think that until women do not reach possitions of power as men do (Country level proportions) we will not obtain equity.

    So the point is: HOW to pave the way to young female students to reach this possitions of power and if they do so how to mantain them there.


  • Lekshmy Nair

    August 15, 2021 at 6:30 am

    I suppose as a PI, open communication is the key. Frequent lab meetings and conscious effort to address the issues at the grass-root level. Better science happens when we are beyond gender considerations and identify the individual USPs.


      August 18, 2021 at 9:48 am

      Yes, I would completely agree with that. But I have observed that in a research institute, the proportion of male PI is higher than the female PIs, while the number of female Ph.D. students is more than the male Ph.D. students. As a female researcher that really bothers me.

      I could never figure out the reason, what are your views on that?

      • Lekshmy Nair

        August 18, 2021 at 5:19 pm

        In my view, the skewed ratio has more to do with societal pressure and not with competence at any level. As a woman, I had to get past the societal norms of marriage and settling down (with great family support) until landing my dream career. This scenario may be more true in rural India though. A sizable lot of women candidates stumble and deviate from research career during maternity and child care breaks -which ultimately lag them behind in the race towards becoming a PI. The government is currently doing great in this regard in terms of women scientist projects.

        The current pandemic situation itself can dampen the prospects of an early or mid-career woman scientist in becoming a PI if she has child care responsibilities compounded by the inaccessibility of daycare facility or house help professionals.


          August 18, 2021 at 10:29 pm

          I would say we are more or less in the same page. I would just stress that even if ‘not all the labs’ and ‘not all the situations’ are the same, it exists a general, common environment that is opressive towards women and other collectives (at different levels, in different moments). However, itis true that there is a need for solving every individual problem in a proper specific way.

          Thanks a lot for the feedback!♡

  • Rigel Salinas-Gamboa

    August 19, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    I completely agree with your view. I would add that the head of the institutes play a very important role giving the example of what it would be the ideal in this matter and that they care; this also pushes to other institutions worldwide to do the same (although it doesn´t always work). Many institutions are putting more attention to the men: women ratio, although in the overall landscape it is still not enough.
    In my opinion, the next step is to women take the benefit of this moment: to openly talk about the benefits of a more equal science environment -also with male colleagues- and to give the women around us more support -specially between women-. In addition to this, to us as women: be the bravest, mark the step of the relationships we want, say it when it´s uncomfortable, notice when we are not saying something and notice why are we stopping ourselves. This is a key factor.
    Finally, my favourite part is to notice that very often in society, women are referred as how they “are” and men as what they “do”. For me it has been very important and admittedly very hard, to differentiate both extremes and try to compensate them in a way that we treat people as people and not in a particular way, just because they have -or not have- certain reproductive organ.

    At the end it´s a big, not easy effort from everyone but it is so necessary!

  • Andrea Gomez Felipe

    August 20, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    I’m super agree with this post. In daily work life, women fight to get more respect and authority. We must highlight the need to increase women’s representation in science and technology. Currently, it is still hard to remove gender stereotypes, it remains across different aspects as salary, place of work, leadership positions, among others. I can see the light in the end of the tunnel, we can see that a lot of institutions are doing a strong work to promote diversity and break the barriers of traditional gender roles.


    August 23, 2021 at 7:08 am

    I am so happy about the answers! I agree with all of you because I would say that there is not a bad way to tackle this problem. Every way of fighting is very welcomed. Every little thing that you can do in your day to day could mean a big step for someone that comes after you.

    Yes, it depends on the institute, the country… it also depends on many other factors. It is not the same being a white women that being a black women. We do not get the same oppression and I think is in our hands to give spaces to this women that are not only women but also other things.

    Thanks to everyone! <3


    August 24, 2021 at 5:23 am

    It is great to know about the viewpoints and opinions on the topic across the countries. I always use to discuss this with my friends and the lab members. Glad to know at some or the other point we all are on the same page.

    Thank you @eva_ga96 for initiating the discussion and making us aware of the perspectives on such a delicate issue 🙂