Women In Science
Yesterday was Women In Science Day. The state of the scientific community follows that of many other industries which prove themselves to be male led and male dictated. This is such a limiting outlook.
If you consider that women make up 50% of the workforce, as we have pointed out before, from a simple efficiency stand-point it makes no sense to exclude them. But greater than that, when it comes to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), think of all the amazing advancements we are missing out on because a good portion of half the brain power out there isn’t being included!
According to the Unesco Institute for Statistics, less than 30% of the world’s researchers are women. Certain areas are more inclusive than others. According to the European Commission, 41% of scientists and engineers in the EU are women. In the United States female involvement goes from as high as 74% in health-related fields, down to a paltry 14% in engineering related fields.
There is plenty of room for improvement. These industries need to start looking inwards as to why it is that women don’t apply or stick around. And the answer isn’t because it is hard. Women do the same challenging things on earth that men do all the time.
There is a culture of exclusion and repression. Consider the technology sector. In 2017 just 26% of professional computing jobs world-wide were held by women. In 2015 only 11% of executive positions in Silicon Valley were held by females. In June of 2018, 36% of all Facebook employees were women. Getting closer to 50%, but still not there.
Business leaders, and the boards that govern them, need to push for greater transparency in hiring practices. Emphasis needs to be put on giving women equal weighting and opportunity to their male counterparts. The best candidate should get the job; regardless of sex or gender.
Raising girls ourselves we never want them to consider something off-limits because they are female. The world should be available to them and to all women and their dreams. Unfortunately history is full of highly important female scientists that we don’t know about. Simply because men at the time either took their results for themselves, or, elected to not promote the discoverer but rather only the discovery.
Changing the narrative is critical to ensure more women go into STEM. Creating a culture that is not hostile once they get there is just a basic human right we need to acknowledge.
The world needs more women in science. Our very future could depend on it.
Image courtesy The New Time Rwanda: https://www.newtimes.co.rw/lifestyle/where-women-science