International Day of Women and Girls in Science

  • 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.

On this International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we highlight a simple equation: More women and girls in science equals better science. Women and girls bring diversity to research, expand the pool of science professionals, and provide fresh perspectives to science and technology, benefiting everyone.

There is growing evidence that gender bias in science is leading to worse outcomes, from drug tests that treat the female body as an aberration, to search algorithms that perpetuate bias and discrimination.

Yet in too many places around the world, women and girls’ access to education is limited or denied completely.

As women look to progress in scientific careers, inequalities and discrimination continue to thwart their potential.

Women make up under a third of the workforce across science, technology, engineering, and maths and even less in cutting edge fields. Just one in five professionals working on Artificial Intelligence is a woman.

We must – and we can – do more to promote women and girl scientists; through scholarships, internships, and training programmes that provide a platform to succeed. Through quotas, retention incentives, and mentorship programmes that help women overcome entrenched hurdles and build a career.

And crucially, by affirming women’s rights and breaking down stereotypes, biases, and structural barriers.

We can all do our part to unleash our world’s enormous untapped talent – starting with filling classrooms, laboratories, and boardrooms with women scientists.

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