Women still Underrepresented in STEM – UNESCO ReportNisha Gowri (Author) Published Date : May 25, 2019 17:10 IST
UNESCO recently published a report titled, ‘cracking the code: Girls and Women's Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The report tells that the women remain underrepresented in the field of STEM. Only 29 among the STEM professionals are women. But what suddenly made us focus on the girls and women education in STEM. It ensures the girls and women have equal access to the field of STEM. It is the need of the hour to view this from human rights, scientific and development perspectives.
From the human rights perspective, all people are equal and so all people should have equal opportunities to study and work of their choice. From a scientific perspective, the inclusion of women will boost the quality of STEM results. Already, women have contributed to the advancements made in the prevention of Cholera and Cancer. From a development perspective, gender equality will ensure the availability of all opportunities to contribute to the improvement of the field of STEM.
The main factors that lead to the under-representation of women in STEM are Psychological, family, school and societal factors. Under psychology, gender stereotypes that convey STEM are male-dominated discourages girls to take up the STEM field of education. Beliefs and expectation of parents, relatives, and friends also play a major role in determining the field of study. Qualified teachers with the specialization in science and mathematics can positively influence girls in choosing the subjects. Further, in the workplace, women face discrimination and stands has a hurdle to portray their full potential.
Women still Underrepresented in STEM – UNESCO Report