Prejudices in Europe are "keen," according to a survey that seven out of ten Europeans (67 percent) believe women have no ability to "become high-level scientists".
This opinion divides women (66 percent) almost in equal numbers with men (67 percent), according to a survey conducted by France's OpinionWay Institute for the L'Oréal Foundation in Germany, Great Britain, Spain, France and Italy.
Only 33 percent of respondents estimate that women have equal abilities as men succeed in scientific work.
"Prejudice against women is keen," says Hugues Cazenave, president of the OpinionWay Institute.
Germans are the most numerous (71 percent) in the opinion that women lack the ability to achieve the greatest scientific achievements, followed by Italians (70 percent), French and British (64 percent), and Spain with 63 percent.
When asked what women are missing to break into the very top of the best scientists, most respondents answered that lack of self-confidence (25 percent), then lack of professional network (21 percent), lack of competing spirit (19 percent), ambition (15 percent) and finally the lack of interest in science (12 percent).
But the 11 percent of respondents estimates that women lack perseverance, 9 holds that women lack a rational spirit, 8 percent thinks women lack the practical spirit and rigor (7 percent) and scientific capacity (7 percent).
According to the same survey, only the 10 percent of respondents think that in science women have even more ability.
When science is concerned women are best placed in social sciences (38 percent), communication (20 percent) and languages (13 percent).
Despite all this, Europeans consider it desirable for more and more women to participate in scientific work in the future. Among the Nobel Prize winners, women are only 3 percent since 1901. the reward established and the 66 percent of respondents hold that number too small.
It would be good in the future that the Nobel Prize for men and women would receive the same proportion, evaluating the 63 percent of respondents.
The study was conducted on a representative sample of 5032 adults.