At ‘The glass ceiling for women in the life sciences’ meeting, I gave a short talk which I felt was misrepresented in the above article. I was quoted as attributing the comparably high number of female professors in Turkey to low salaries. This point was, in fact, not suggested by me but by the audience. I quoted the proportion of female academic staff and students in sciences and engineering at our university, which sparked a subsequent discussion on why Turkey had the highest female:male ratio in its academic staff in Europe. I mentioned several probable reasons for it, such as academic careers being popular among women, women receiving childcare support from their parents as they work and relatively more women daring to enter ‘men's turf’ in Turkey. The last point was exemplified by the high proportion of women undergraduates in typical ‘male’ fields, such as electrical and electronic engineering. This department at the Bogazici University has 26 female undergraduates out of a total of 298 (9%) and eight female graduate students out of a total of 103 (8%). The undergraduates are accepted solely by their scores, which are among the highest in the country, in the nationwide entrance exam.
I would like to give another example of the high number of women in leading positions in Turkey: the high proportion of females in Turkish High Courts. Intriguingly, one of the three High Courts in particular has a high proportion of females: both of the two vice‐chairpersons, three of the 13 department heads, and 25 of the 67 members of the general assembly are females. They are selected from about 8000 judges, 1653 of which are women.
- Copyright © 2001 European Molecular Biology Organization
Aslihan Tolun is at the Bogazici University, Instanbul, Turkey