Today, 11th February 2021, is International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Currently, only 30% of researchers worldwide are women.
The 6th Assembly for this day will be held virtually from the United Nations Headquarters involving women in science experts from across the globe.
The figures below show the proportion of female vs male science professionals from 2016-2019.
COVID-19 has increased the gaps in equality across many issues, science being no exception and so the push for more women in science needs to be greater than ever.
But this push for more women in science is not just for a fair workforce. When the seatbelt was invented, it was modelled and tested on the equivalent of an average male in height and weight. When it was first introduced in cars, it killed many women and children as it had only been modelled for men. Science is more accurate when women are involved.
“Most scientific research does not consider sex or gender as variables and treats male as the norm, resulting in different health and safety outcomes for women and men.” Prof. Heisook Lee President of the Korea Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology
Recent research has also found that team performance and collaboration is greatly improved by the presence of women in a group. Since women and men often approach problems differently, it has been found that a balanced team is more effective.
To celebrate today’s important date we asked some women in STEM to share their advice and experiences to encourage more women to go into science. Here’s what some of them said:
“You can do it! I believe in you and I know that with determination and passion, you can do this.” – Charlotte
“The idea of a ‘typical scientist’ doesn’t exist, so don’t let that stereotypical image hold you back! Careers in STEM aren’t just restricted to lab-based research – there are so many options out there so follow where your interests lead you!” – BLS Blog Alumni Roisin
“Never be intimidated by others in your field. Focus on you – you are just as capable as anybody else and deserve to be there.” – Current BLS Blog Editor Rebecca
Head over to our Facebook and Instagram pages to see more inspirational quotes and advice!
And finally, a big thank you to all our wonderful women in science who got involved with our project!
Facebook: @BLSStudentBlogLancasterUniversity (BLS Student Blog – Lancaster University)
Barratt, B. (no date) The Need For More Women In STEM Roles Goes Beyond Simple Diversity, Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/biancabarratt/2018/11/17/the-need-for-more-women-in-stem-roles-goes-beyond-simple-diversity/ (Accessed: 10 February 2021).
Elsevier (no date) Why science is gender-biased — and what we can do about it, Elsevier Connect. Available at: https://www.elsevier.com/connect/why-science-is-gender-biased-and-what-we-can-do-about-it (Accessed: 10 February 2021).