Breaking the Glass Ceiling Cathrine Hasse, Danish School of Education The glass ceiling is a descriptive metaphor which point to the fact that women are not advancing in their careers and do not advance instead of using their full potential as scientists. The descriptive metaphor allude to some problems within physics as culture and physics as embedded in national cultures, but these have never been explained in detail. The overall picture is a dismal one; yet an interesting configuration of cultural diversity appears on a gendered map of physicists. It is comparatively easier to attract female students in eastern and southern European countries than in the north, and career paths seem to follow different patterns. In the UPGEM-project (Understanding Puzzles in the Gendered European Map) we have studied what makes male and female physicists leave a career track. We are able to explain the marked difference in the proportion of women in physics in the different European countries as differences in nationally formed conditions for physics in as wells as physics as culture. Though we have found no simple correlation, during our research we have found that certain patterns of connections (cultural models) within physics is supported by certain connections in national cultures. Together this pattern of connections makes it possible to identify three different perceptions of the ideal physicists’ cultures, which we have labeled the Hercules-, the Caretaker-, and the Worker Bee-culture. All of these cultures influence women’s possibilities for careers in physics, but in different ways. Of the three scientific cultures, the Hercules culture is the one in which we find the most aggressive relation between male and female scientists. In order to break the glass ceiling we suggest these cultures must be identified and changed on a local basis at university work places.