Although there seems to be a shared impression that the proportion of women in academic psychiatry is substantially lower than in National Health Service (NHS) posts, we are not aware of any empirical data on this. In the USA, women physicians have been shown to be more likely to pursue an academic career than men (Nonnemaker, 2000), but the number who advance to Professor appears significantly lower than expected (Reiser et al, 1993; Nonnemaker, 2000). Women in academic psychiatry in Canada also appear less likely to advance to senior positions than their male colleagues (Penfold, 1987). A recent survey of 44 academic institutions in the UK, carried out by the National Centre for Social Research (Blake & La Valle, 2000), found that women occupied lower grade academic posts than their male counterparts and therefore were less eligible to apply for project research grants. Those that were eligible were as successful in gaining funding as their male colleagues.