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Discrimination Still Plagues Science

Written by: Chris Woolston
Published on: Dec 1, 2021

scientist using a digital tablet
Photo credit: PeopleImages/Getty Images

Social protest movements such as #MeToo and #BlackInSTEM have shone a light on the need for greater diversity, equity and inclusion at scientific institutions worldwide. And Nature’s 2021 salary and job satisfaction survey, which drew responses from more than 3,200 working scientists around the world, suggests that there’s much more work to do.

Just 40% of respondents felt that their employers were doing enough to promote diversity, down from 51% in 2018, when the survey last took place. A substantial minority of respondents said they had witnessed colleagues being subjected to discriminatory behaviour, and another sizeable minority said they had experienced such treatment themselves. The self-selected survey (see ‘Nature’s salary and job survey’) included a series of questions that explore attitudes and experiences relating to diversity. Follow-up interviews with selected respondents and free-text comments have helped to fill out the picture.

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