I have been a member of the “Women and Physics” committee of the French Physical Society since I was recruited as a lecturer.
In France and in the world, there is a small minority of women physicists. In my field, materials science, we are about 20%.
Faced with this observation, a naive hypothesis would be to say that if they don’t want to do physics, why should they be forced to do so? This idea is false because career choices are shaped by various interactions with family and friends but also at school. And the figures show that the number of girls and then women who want to do physics decreases with age and because of strongly discouraging constraints.

Because there is sometimes a lack of figures and bibliographical references to support greater diversity, I propose in this page a small bibliographical reference.

The figures (in french)

  • The ANR report on projects obtained by men and women is available here
  • Several pages of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research give figures:
    • By research institute here
    • Detailed figures by discipline and level of study here


  • The training video for the ERC juries
  • The gender bias training offered by the “mission pour la place des femmes” at the CNRS. It is reserved for higher education and research staff and it is in French.
    To register, please fill in this form
  • I led a working group that reflected on the organisation of videoconferences and visio-juries in an inclusive way (many references inside!). It is available in French here and in English here
  • A report from the CNRS Section 14 (Coordination chemistry, catalysis and processes, interfaces) which makes concrete proposals for unbiased evaluation, especially at the time of promotion: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03311372/
  • The CNRS Institute of Physics has signed the charter of parity for the organisation of conferences drafted by the “women and physics” commission of the French Physical Society. Available in English here

What works

  • How Sweden got half of its university presidents to be women
  • How Computer Science at CMU Is Attracting and Retaining Women” available here
  • How to create working conditions in which everyone can express themselves without feeling judged : here

Obstacles in women’s career development

  • Lot’s of resources on Chloé-Agathe Azincott’s web page, here