Recruiting and retaining females within science, engineering and technology continues to challenge many European Higher Education Institutions. This study looks at female self-perceptions relating to effective research work and career progression. Focus groups are used to examine the attitudes and experiences of females, and a questionnaire used to explore perceptions in four main skills areas: group work; communication; personal awareness; and project planning and management. The study indicates consistent female concerns on issues pertaining to effective female role models, negative work-role stereotypes and the work-life balance of an academic career. For all four skills areas, the average confidence scores of the female participants fell below that of males, but these differences were only statistically significant for perceptions on group work and communication skills, and prior to an intense skills development course. Based on these findings, a student workshop on gender issues has been developed, an outline of which is presented
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