BEIJING, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists have called for encouraging women to play a bigger role in basic science, especially in mathematics, the China Daily reported Monday.
During a "Women and Mathematics" forum held in Beijing on Sunday, scientists said encouraging more women to engage in basic research will help improve science education and scientific research.
Women account for about 40 percent of China's scientific and technological human resources, on par with many other countries. However, those who actually engage in cutting-edge scientific research or decision-making make up a much smaller proportion, according to Xu Ping, secretary-general of the China Women's Association for Science and Technology.
"For example, in the 210 societies affiliated with the China Association for Science and Technology, women who serve as deputy directors or above only account for about 7 percent," Xu said, adding that women are a force that should not be overlooked if the country wants to become a science and technology powerhouse.
A survey of more than 6,000 women showed 32 percent had encountered a preference for men when seeking their first jobs, according to Li Xinxin, a researcher at the Academy of Mathematics and System Science.
"It means that the policy system still needs improvements to promote social equity," Li was quoted as saying.