Well isn't this interesting
Yes, I'm referring to (former) Harvard president Larry Sommers, and he was an idiot for several reasons for making his remarks. For one thing, any senior academic with connections with science would know you can't hire people who aren't there. The problem (known as the pipeline issue) is well known. Except to Larry Sommers. You have to have a certain number of high school girls taking math and science to survive college and grad school to even begin to have a reasonable number of candidates to select from for professor gigs. (Note that the same is true for black scientists of either gender, but nobody is claiming race means lack of mental ability. And yet black scientists are even more rare than female ones.)
My contention, as a female scientist, is that you have to increase the number of girls at the OTHER end of the pipeline. According to this study, the numbers started increasing about ten years ago. Seems that a combination of increased science graduation requirements and higher standards of colleges provided the needed impetus. I don't think it will shock anyone that teenagers like to do the minimum amount of work required for a particular outcome. Perhaps when more of them are "forced" to take and do well in science courses, some will actually like it. And want to do more. It could take years, but then we are trying to change a cultural meme that has been around for millennia. I hope so, anyway.