The world needs science, and science needs women and girls.
Women have led ground-breaking research into public health, vaccines, treatments and innovative technology, and been on the front lines of COVID-19 response as scientists, health care workers and more.
Yet, the gender gap in science and technology holds women back. According to UNESCO’s forthcoming Science Report, only 33 per cent of researchers are women, despite the fact that they represent 45 and 55 per cent of students at the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels of study respectively, and 44 per cent of those enrolled in PhD programs. While 70 per cent of health and social care workersare women, they are paid 11 per cent less than their male counterparts.
The COVID-19 pandemic is poised to widen the existing gender disparities, especially for women scientists at the early stages of their career, unless we act deliberately to keep women in the career pipelines in STEM.
Did you know?
- Women are typically given smaller research grants than their male colleagues and, while they represent 33.3% of all researchers, only 12% of members of national science academies are women.
- In cutting edge fields such as artificial intelligence, only one in five professionals (22%) is a woman.
- Despite a shortage of skills in most of the technological fields driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution, women still account for only 28% of engineering graduates and 40% of graduates in computer science and informatics.
- Female researchers tend to have shorter, less well-paid careers. Their work is underrepresented in high-profile journals and they are often passed over for promotion.
It’s more important than ever to recognize women’s contributions in science, smash stereotypes and defeat discrimination against women and girls in science.
Join us on International Day of Women and Girls in Science to celebrate the “Women Scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19”.