Intentional equity

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Science  29 Jul 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6298, pp. 427
DOI: 10.1126/science.aah5898

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Over a decade ago, when I was chief scientist at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, I spoke at a conference called Women and Science: Celebrating Achievements, Charting Challenges. I lauded women working in astrophysics, government, and science policy in the United States and elsewhere, but said that progress was mixed—the veneer of success for women across the sciences, and in science leadership, was too thin across the globe. What has changed since then? Cultural barriers, a lack of enlightened policies, and the need for role models and support systems still exist worldwide. However, today there is good reason to be optimistic. The international scientific community is coming together intentionally to acknowledge and tackle gender equity.