Sex Bias Alleged in NIH Tenure Process

Many of our best scientists and researchers toil away every day at the National Institutes of Health, helping to make life better for us. Many women among them.

But women comprise just 22 percent of the tenured research scientists at NIH, compared to 19 percent in 2011. Just under 2 in 5 (38 percent) are now on track toward tenure, up from 36 percent in 2011.

What is to account for this plodding progress of these women? It’s gender bias, overt and unconscious from the men who govern the institution, according to a complaint filed by Bibiana Bielekova, a female neuro-immunologist who has helped identify a treatment for multiple sclerosis.

Bielekova says she was the victim of retaliation and discrimination based on gender resulting from a “power struggle” following the retirement of her mentor, who was chief of the neuro-immunology branch.

In contrast, male scientists were provided numerous advantages in the aftermath and she was harmed by groundless accusations from male colleagues of unprofessional conduct.

Stay tuned here for more developments in this matter.


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