Athena Swan

Athena Swan promotes and supports the careers of women in Science, Engineering and Technology (STEM), and aims to address gender inequalities and imbalance in these disciplines and, in particular, the under-representation of women in senior roles.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Book review - A Singularly Unfeminine Profession: One Woman's Journey in Physics

The brilliant theoretical physicist Mary K. Gaillard has made major contributions to the standard model of particle physics and to superstrings, a candidate theory of everything. In 1981, she became the first woman with a tenured position in the physics faculty at the University of California, Berkeley. Her frank autobiography, A Singularly Unfeminine Profession, is an honest, revelatory account of her many discoveries, made as she battled gender bias and faced the demands of raising three children.
Born in New Jersey in 1939, Gaillard has a “survival mechanism” born from an inherent belief in equality, nurtured by her parents and school, and a rebellious tendency to question the world around her. Having fallen in love with physics at school, she won a scholarship to Hollins College near Roanoke, Virginia. It included a year in Paris at l'École Polytechnique — her first exposure to the culture that was to become her nemesis.

Read more here.

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