Fighting ordinary sexism is promoting equality between men and women.


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An article published on November 17 in

Nature Communications

explains that a woman in academia would fare better by partnering with a man.

These findings have prompted hundreds of academics to publish an open letter denouncing the comments of this article, which examines the “mentoring” relationship, reports



The signatories wish to reaffirm the place of women as mentors, without sexist criteria.

The controversial article, which is the subject of an alert, deals with "the personal support and methodological supervision of someone at the start of their career by a person qualified in the academic environment", specifies the specialized media.

Women in withdrawal

In this article, we learn that women academics at the start of their careers would “benefit more” from being supervised by men rather than by women.

On the mentor side, they would gain more from mentoring men at the start of their careers rather than women at the same stage, especially if the mentor is a woman.

The authors of the article believe that "current diversity policies that encourage female mentoring, however well-intentioned they are, could unexpectedly hamper women's careers in academia."

The authors also explain that mentoring between women… should be avoided.

"The policy recommendations presented in this paper in the form of scientific conclusions are detrimental to established and emerging female academics, as they reinforce deeply ingrained prejudices and inequalities that have held back women for generations," write the signatories of the open letter, which come back to the methodological errors of the article.

For the signatories, the “fallacious arguments and biases” illustrated in the study “contributed to the under-representation of women in all fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,”


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  • Science

  • Controversy

  • study

  • Sexism

  • Letter