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Glass Ceiling On Science Must Go

Corporate Veteran Says Glass Ceiling On Science Must Go

A veteran business leader has urged corporate New Zealand to remove the “glass ceiling” on scientists in management and help stem the loss of talented science graduates to overseas .

David Hope-Cross, the recently-retired Managing Director of Bayer New Zealand, issued his call in Auckland this evening, whilst being invested with a New Zealand Science and Technology Medal by the Hon. Pete Hodgson, Minister of Science and Technology.

Mr Hope-Cross described science education as the responsibility of all New Zealanders, including the business community, and not just of Government.

“It is science that not only helps us understand the world in which we live but also enables us to develop the products we so desperately need in order to generate income and a decent standard of living for the future,” he said.

“We need to ensure that more science graduates get into senior management positions and help our Boards of Directors understand better what their companies can do and achieve.

“In other words, we have to recognise that there exists in many organizations a glass ceiling that hinders the development of young scientists within companies and we simply cannot allow such a thing to continue,” he added.

Mr Hope-Cross pointed out that most members of Bayer’s own international Board of Management have science or technical backgrounds. He suggested that this might account for the annual turnover of NZ$50 billion achieved by the worldwide Bayer group of chemical and health care companies.

He also cited Bayer New Zealand’s provision of more than 40 tertiary scholarships over the last eight years as one example of how businesses can help fund science education and reduce the loss to overseas of debt-burdened science and technology graduates.

“If we are to stem the awful loss of our young people, we have to help provide them with support and scholarships, so that they ultimately return to this country and contribute to its growth and well-being,” Mr Hope-Cross said.

The New Zealand Science and Technology Medals are awarded in recognition of significant contributions to the advancement of science and technology. The awards are made on the advice of The Royal Society of New Zealand

David Hope-Cross described his bronze medal as acknowledging not just his own contributions but those of Bayer New Zealand, of the Colleges of Education and of science teachers who have helped facilitate Bayer’s programme of tertiary scholarships and secondary school science sponsorships.

“My being able to promote Science studies to over 70,000 secondary students as well as the awarding of tertiary scholarships was only possible because of the support of the Divisional Managers and other members of the team at Bayer New Zealand,” he said.

According to Bayer New Zealand’s General Manager, Richard Koreman, the company is delighted at the honour bestowed on its former Managing Director.

“David was and remains an inspirational figure with firm and cogent views on the responsibility of business to the wider community. His medal is richly deserved,” Mr Koreman says

Bayer New Zealand has provided approximately $50,000 in tertiary science scholarships during the current academic year.


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