Posted by: A. C. Cockerill | January 10, 2012

Question of the Week #1: Women

Question of the Week #1:

Historically, in higher-paying hard sciences such as physics, chemistry, and nanotechnology, only about fifteen percent of the employees were women. What can commercial-fiction writers do to help women’s participation shift closer to fifty percent?


  1. Write books where fifty percent female is normal. Show how they can make a difference. Well rounded characters with depth.

    • “Write books where fifty percent female is normal” is a great idea, Gerri. And with all of the coming advances in nanotechnology (emerging technologies), women and men will make a huge difference in the quality of life around the globe. Cheers, Ashley

  2. What Gerry said, plus catch the young girls in MG and YA. Let’s have some “winner” girls who are keen on math and logic and aspire to careers other than journalism and private detectives.

    • Hi Gloria, I completely agree with you and Gerri. I suspect the number one reason for the fifteen percent is a lack of role models in books, TV, and movies. The rare times when hard-tech women are portrayed, the characters are one-dimensional geek cliches, not “well rounded characters.” It’s so sad, since this is where literally millions of great, high-paying jobs will be in the near future. Cheers, Ashley

  3. I agree – we need to portray women enjoying satisfying careers and making a difference in these fields. The heroines in my books are IT technicians, programmers, and inventors.

    • So great to hear you’re writing technical heroines, Jennette! Thank you, Ashley

  4. Featuring more clever girl protagonists as role models in both science fiction and other genres of literature, I believe these novels are out there for both YA and MG but I have read many articles sprouting out the scary truth that boys still are not as likely to read a novel if the main character is female and that makes publishers more reluctant to publish them. Also, sci-fi and other genres are still heavily biased towards male writers. It is hard to get things across as normal when such barriers are up. I know it is changing with the times but perhaps not as fast as it should.

    • Hi Billie Jo, Fortunately, we live in the ages of self-publishing and science-fiction romance. So, readers and authors can break down these barriers together. Cheers, Ashley

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