Wednesday, December 06, 2006
An audience member asked the panel about what universities should do to help women in the sciences avoid glass ceilings in their careers. All eyes swung to Mr. Summers.There are few jobs with more flexibility than a university professor.
Immediately grabbing a microphone, he said, �Maybe I should say something about that.� The audience roared with laughter.
�Larry, maybe you shouldn�t,� quipped one of the other panel members.
�Let�s say I�ve had an opportunity to be educated on the topic,� he shot back, smiling.
Mr. Summers said that how women and men can develop careers while raising children is �a profoundly important question� for organizations of all types and �a question that bears with particular force on the careers of women.� Echoing recent studies of the issue, he spoke of allowing flexible work arrangements to help scientists juggle those responsibilities.
The panel, part of the Hamilton project at Brookings, discussed a paper in which strategies were offered to increase the number of scientists engaged in R&D to promote economic growth. The paper is quite interesting.