The world of science is in the midst of gender reckoning. Women cannot go on being persistently ignored. They also play a key role in our lives. From the earliest times of human civilization there are some very significant contributions which women have played a key role in by offering their scholarly research. They have made their own success stories while also facing barriers. Many of the world’s largest problems would have gone unsolved if men would have continued the habit of chasing women away and discouraging them from participating. The role of women is undervalued and less represented in science. There is a lack of diversity which should be identified as a critical element in ensuring there is no biased decision making and implementation of policies. Women have the potential to pioneer more extraordinary contributions than their male counterparts (Tonelli, 114). Certain customs and traditions need to be put to a halt for science to continue excelling such as there is no room for women at the top. A number of people even some of the women deem it unworthy to occupy positions that have been known to be occupied by men. It is not only in the field of science that gender disparity is evident but also across all employment sectors.
Italy is the place first known for emphasizing to offer women for liberal opportunities since even the first woman to earn a university chair in a field of scientific studies was an Italian lady called Laura Bassi in the eighteenth century at a time where such a chance for women was rare and unheard of . The following century saw women admitted in learning societies and jobs for women scientists. Marie Curie is one fine example. She pioneered research for radioactive decay and going on to receive a Nobel Prize in Physics and even in Chemistry. To date seventeen women have earned a Nobel Prize in medicine, physiology, physics, and chemistry while a further forty have been awarded a Nobel Prize between 1901 and 2010.Women present in scientific fields were still less .Also the probability of women earning jobs while being at the same level of abilities with men is still very low.
The job market is neglecting women and failing to acknowledge their perspectives which are essential to addressing various burdens they can clearly eliminate without having adverse implications on the growing population .Many of the inequalities are connected together in a web of other types of inequalities and injustices such as pay structure making it even more complex to rectify and advocate for change towards the right direction (Chowdhury, 374). In an era where democracy spread all around the globe and people are told they can be anything they want to be, if women are not allowed to express their own opinions and think of their own ideas then democracy and knowledge-based growth has not improved by any means. There is a stereotype of threat that comes up where men are always on top of women by nature, and a mandate given to the male gender by God himself .A number of organizations have stepped up to combat stereotypes like the Women into Science Engineering and Construction , Association for Women in Science , The United Kingdom Resource Centre for Women and The Third World Organization for Women who have raised the inequality question not only as a science policy ,but also for economic competitiveness
The organization’s objectives is to challenge the old norms of career recruitment to avoid losing brilliant minds and encourage girls and women to join the workforce. The world is changing every day and we are grappling with the question of changing power gender relations .In South Africa, Kiara Nirghin was able to come up with a polymer that has the capacity to carry a hundred times its own weight in water when placed in soil. This came at a time when South Africa was facing one of its most severe cases of drought. The polymer is designed from waste purely and is able to increase and sustain growth in areas facing drought. Her achievement did not go unnoticed earning her a Google Science Fair Grand Price at eighteen year old. There are several reasons for gender gaps in science. Another outstanding woman is Kharyath Mohamed.
This lady at fifteen years defied her age. Hailing from Dar-as-Salaam, Tanzania joined up with other girls at a Coding Camp in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia .Her dream is to learn more. The program aims to train creators and place them in careers of coding and Information Computer Technology. With the right mentoring and support women can go over the glass ceiling and go a step further in doing incredible works for the whole human race. There are reasons to explain why women are at a disadvantage in science based on American historian Margaret Rossiter. The first concept is hierarchical segregation a well-known practice whereby the higher the rank the less the number of people should be involved. It assumes men achieve more recognition and are doing more valuable tasks. Another reason is territorial segregation and this is the way in which women are employed in industries (Chowdhury, 378). Most of the women are nurses and teachers. In science women are botanists and also present in fields of zoology and psychology with more men being engineers and chemists.
Everyday women are fighting sexual harassment, domestic violence, broader oppression, violence and perceived judgment they cannot serve as breadwinners but only as beneficiaries and support staff left at home to perform house duties while men go out to work. Even in the civilian jobs, men still present a large number and women only perform other responsibilities considered by society as feminine. Women cannot afford another century of inequality discussion as everyone deserves an equal opportunity and platform in the near future ripe with a new wave of energy .One thing for sure is that the dynamics are changing rapidly and access to technology ,innovation ,ideas and data is a stone throw away from a person (Stone, 341). Awareness is spreading across all corners people are not holding back to fight for what they believe is right. Both nationally and at an international level women are being encouraged to join Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines with no exceptions or hindrances to deter them. This will help debunk old myths and vanquish stereotypes and break trends to meet those who have been left behind
The forth industrial revolution is taking Centre stage and failure to address the gender divide will only worsen as the gap is likely to grow. The narrative has to change by setting up promotion policies such as recruiting women since only one vacancy can be offered to women when twenty jobs are lost. One of the claims is they tend to be less productive and are more likely to be outperformed because they seem not to persist longer. Another claim is that is that their work is supposedly of low quality. Such claims are propaganda and hold little thought if quoted since there is no evidence to back it up. Women have a proven record since they have served in many capacities at some point .Notable women in the field of science from forth century astronomer Hypatia, Maryam Mirzakhani, Tu Youyou who found an antimalarial drug .All of them provided unique insights on science
Scientists from the University of Melbourne compared men and women in the field of science in the Stem units and at the current rate it takes at least fifty decades to solve the issue. They came to their conclusion through articles written by scientists. There were ten million academic papers published between 2002 and 2016. By use of a computer program they counted the authors of the paper. Male dominated females and it only in five fields that women exceeded men and the only discipline that would take a short time to close down was environmental health which would take sixteen years while the longest was astrophysics with one hundred and thirty one years. This is a very serious state of affairs (Kang, 581). There are certain rights for women that should be granted in the work sector. They sound so basic but it is important that they are followed to the later. Rights such as working when pregnant. A pregnant lady given the fact that she can satisfy the work demands then they should not excluded from their position. It should also be seen that any sexual comments and sexual advances when they fail to comply should be handled with keenness since it is a very sensitive matter . The offender should also be punished heavily regardless of their position and contribution even if it calls for their resignation. If the punishment even involves a jail term then that should be the punishment failed and such matters should not be sugarcoated as they are illegal in the eyes of the law
Men are the main antagonists with some making it their personal mission to make sure that women will fail in every step of the way. Some of the men are sexists and view women as sex tools which is very disappointing since women have a lot they can offer if they are given the equal opportunities to compete .Throughout history those women who have been offered the chance to excel in science such as Lisa Meitner, Dorothy Hodgkin, Rosalind Franklin have gone beyond the profession to inspire generations everywhere both male and female. The list is endless that books cannot fill and the achievements even more profound .These few examples were the leaders known in building the early foundation of breaking gender barriers and pursue science careers in the twentieth century and at the early turn of the century. It goes without saying that most of the men if not all perceive women to be the weaker sex and only fit the bill of following behind their lead (Kang, 584) .No wants to acknowledge the fact that a woman can go beyond expectations . In fact they sugarcoat the matter by stating that if a woman holds a higher position of power such as a lead researcher they fill themselves with pride and will see to it that men will not surpass them. Sadly this is not the case as women have been seen to work even harder and offer a sense of calmness and designing simple strategies and tactics that go on to serve for years to come .
Men are trying hard to write women out of scientific history .This is a cancer that has gone on for centuries without a long-term cure and lies that have even been told to young children which proves to be more detrimental. The advice that should be offered to women is to be open and outspoken as the challenges will motivate them. Women often second themselves than the usual through their mentors who they conflict with (Sarseke, 93). At times, enters may not believe in their abilities. She advises that it is better if women be more confident and avoid being intimidated, even if they are minorities in science. As long as they train and trust their gut then everything else will click into place .Men fear outspoken women who are independent and can stand on their own ground.
Sarah Jones of the University of Wolver Hampton in the United Kingdom states there is no easy fix. She remembers being brought up in the 80s and how one of her teachers noted her physics in physics was so good for a girl. She can attest to the fact that there is no easy solution when it comes to stereotypes .These misconceptions should be brought to light for people to reduce discrimination and ensure gender equality .In science there should be no distinction between men and women but only their passion all professionals looking as non-feminine as possible in order to bring more diversity and openness in the field (Sarseke, 98). It is very evident from the context that some of the gender gaps have been socially conducted with many people believing that they are able to fit better in subjects of their own gender .Another important factor is that people or an individual believes the chances of success are better in a domain to feel more competent. This reflects the low social value and bonuses that is known to come for those in such areas of expertise.
What most people are not aware of or what the society has ignored is women were also part of the scientific revolution performing experiments and conducting research since they only know of scientists such as Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei and Albert Einstein. Their studies have been frowned upon and this is only the tip of the iceberg. There is an untold history of women in technology and science as they have been with a lot of resistance even by their own species who they thought they could call upon .Scientific sexism has been so intractable to reform. For an unknown reason science has been hailed as a man’s world which is very problematic since there will be a lack of diverse culture and gender. Objectivity and reason are seen as fundamental pillars in the field and there are ties to masculinity that’s why women are naturally deemed unfit (Stone, 343). This notion can be drawn to Francis Baron a thinker who drove scientific revolution and creating the theory that still exists even in modern times .This is very ignorant since it binds nature to man and makes women a slaves only there to serve their purpose and later regarded as trash after they are done with them reducing them to mere lab rats .It is very worrying especially in a field that has a lot of intellectuals and modern day thinkers who bring up ideas that serve lines of future human population.
The masculinity view by now should be very much outdated by now. There are more issues that should be followed keenly rather than men worrying about women being more skillful than them in a given field .This should be less surprising and should be celebrated as a step to success and the death of rigid traditions that were previously problematic in the history of science .Gender inequality will not solve itself. Exclusion of women cannot go on any further than it already is .Steps to curb this issue should be promoting high-achieving women by selecting them for roles they can also serve as inspirations for others. Another solution is consciously reflecting on personal biases when hiring staff. Offering women maternity leave is also a higher level of providing them with flexible conditions even after successfully giving birth which is no major feat and this boosts their morale to work more efficiently and hard.
Women should be encouraged to enter disciples such as Scientific Technology Engineering and Mathematics programs at an early age for exposure and nurturing young talents putting the idea of STEM as culturally and socially acceptable. It will help the community respect women and be aware of the extent that equal opportunities has to offer .Advocating for women in more prestigious roles ensures fair balance in the society and clear pathways if they wish to climb up the ladder (Varma, 694). Adopting a code of conduct by respecting everyone’s opinion ensures no condoning of unruly behavior since guidelines have been put into place. Appointing a safety officer who does not favor anyone found in violations of the code of conduct ensures fairness and safety in the scientific field. They will be people who are identifiable as proper executioners of the law .Conducting surveys develops a reference point in sorting issues of gender disparity and leaky problems in the given institution to increase awareness and sensitivity towards disparity.
In the respected field of scientific research it is paramount to integrate focus groups that will allow feedback and further progress as a top priority. The information received will help solve social differences regarding gender and collect demographics on its members. Offer benefits to members as a way of appreciating willingness for participation. Provide them with registration discounts, food vouchers (Gay-Antaki, 2062). This will help them be more open not only towers issues of women but the larger community such as people of color and this will foster an overall culture of friendship .It will offer an adjustment of attitudes that will help promote equality and a worthy example that everyone else can be able to follow.
Remember to help with childcare in a voluntary capacity and be consistent with local childcare by offering small grants and place this responsibility at the forefront. This will diminish the thought that women with children cannot serve .Providing travel grants is another huge step to women who are at an early stage of their career since they are usually paid less than their male colleagues. Women can also be offered scholarships to study abroad or at top institutions nationally .This demonstrates support and the importance of involving women as the basic participants in the organizations they represent (Gay-Antaki, 2064)Safety is of utmost importance to limit cases of bullying and intimidation .This gives women scientists a professional space they can contribute .Implementation of all these steps go a long way in aiding everyone not only women on how important it is that human rights are observed and there is no stagnation to getting rid of obstacles to success.
- Tonelli, Maria José, and Felipe Zambaldi. ‘WOMEN IN SCIENCE.’ Revista de Administração de Empresas 58.2 (2018): 114-115.
- Chowdhury, Sanjib, Megan Lee Endres, and Crissie Frye. ‘The influence of knowledge, experience, and education on gender disparity in entrepreneurial self-efficacy.’ Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship 31.5 (2019): 371-389.
- Stone, Pamela. ‘Getting to Equal: Progress, Pitfalls, and Policy Solutions on the Road to Gender Parity in the Workplace.’ The Inequality Reader. Routledge, 2018. 337-344.
- Kang, Sonia K., and Sarah Kaplan. ‘Working toward gender diversity and inclusion in medicine: myths and solutions.’ The Lancet 393.10171 (2019): 579-586.
- Sarseke, Gulnar. ‘Under-Representation of Women in Science: From Educational, Feminist and Scientific Views.’ NASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education 11.1 (2018): 89-101.
- Varma, Roli. ‘US Science and Engineering Workforce: Underrepresentation of Women and Minorities.’ American Behavioral Scientist 62.5 (2018): 692-697.
- Gay-Antaki, Miriam, and Diana Liverman. ‘Climate for women in climate science: Women scientists and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115.9 (2018): 2060-2065.