I am on the Steering Committee for Cambridge Association for Women in Science and Engineering and when I speak with members, I am always shocked at how poor their working contracts are considering their levels of education (often a PhD) and experience. Is the UK not crying out for more scientists? A good start would be better offerings than short-term, often poorly-paid research contracts. As elaborated in an recent Times article by Clare Dight "An EU report into the underrepresentation of women found that they face a number of barriers, says Mary Honeyball, MEP. “Seemingly across the scientific community, career breaks are not heard of,” she says. “[And] a lot of jobs in science … are quite insecure. There is a lot of mobility required and short-term contracts [which], does not lend itself to much of a work-life balance.” Former communist countries such as Romania are well ahead of the UK in promoting women to senior positions in science, according to EU calculations." People are scratching their heads as to why so few women enter these professions, but surely poor conditions and contracts are part of the reason that only a third of 500,000 women who study science at school or university, end up working in these fields.