International Day of Women and Girls in STEM


This past week (on February 11th), the International Day of Women and Girls in STEM was celebrated across the globe, with the UN leading the charge as founders of the day.


In the shadow of an ongoing pandemic, this year’s celebration had a viral focus; Women Scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. While the UN highlighted the critical role woman played in advancing COVID-19 knowledge, developing testing techniques, and ultimately to creating the vaccine against the virus, they also pointed out the ways in which the pandemic has unequally burdened woman and girls in stem – particularly those early in their career – by women bearing the brunt of school closures and working from home.


Presently, woman only make up 30% of researchers, and while within the biological and life sciences, woman represent over half of students earning PhDs, most fail to achieve tenure track faculty positions.


In light of these troubling stats, this Thursday the UN chief stressed that “Women and girls belong in science”.


How do we fix this? Many who celebrated the day cited specific and measurable actions in mentorship, active recruitment, and changes in how academia functions.


Please see links below for resources on this topic:

https://www.un.org/en/observances/women-and-girls-in-science-day


https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/02/1084412


https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/111/28/10107.full.pdf


https://twitter.com/IncludeHer_STEM/status/1359692484331249664


https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/invisible-women/


-Erin

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