Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Numbers of women in science and technology fields alarmingly low in leading economies

Date:
October 3, 2012
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
In the first study of its kind, researchers have found that numbers of women in the science, technology and innovation fields are alarmingly low in the world's leading economies, and are actually on the decline in others, including the United States.

In the first study of its kind, researchers have found that numbers of women in the science, technology and innovation fields are alarmingly low in the world's leading economies, and are actually on the decline in others, including the United States.
Credit: Image courtesy of Elsevier

In the first study of its kind, researchers have found that numbers of women in the science, technology and innovation fields are alarmingly low in the world's leading economies, and are actually on the decline in others, including the United States.

The study maps the opportunities and obstacles faced by women in science across the US, EU, Brazil, South Africa, India, Korea and Indonesia. It was conducted by experts in international gender, science and technology issues from Women in Global Science & Technology and the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World, and funded by the Elsevier Foundation.

Despite efforts by many of these countries to give women greater access to science and technology education, research shows negative results, particularly in the areas of engineering, physics and computer science. Women remain severely under-represented in degree programs for these fields-less than 30% in most countries. In addition, the numbers of women actually working in these fields are declining across the board. Even in countries where the numbers of women studying science and technology have increased, it has not translated into more women in the workplace.

"These economies are operating under the existing paradigm that if we give girls and women greater access to education they will eventually gain parity with men in these fields," states Sophia Huyer, the lead researcher and founding executive director of Women in Global Science & Technology. "This has dictated our approach to the problem for over a decade and we are still only seeing incremental changes. The report indicates that access to education is not a solution in and of itself. It's only one part of what should be a multi-dimensional policymaking approach. There is no simple solution."

The data show that women's parity in the science, technology and innovation fields is tied to multiple empowerment factors, with the most influential being higher economic status, larger roles in government and politics, access to economic, productive and technological resources, quality healthcare and financial resources. Findings also show that women have greater parity in countries with government policies that support health and childcare, equal pay, and gender mainstreaming. One of the main findings is that few countries collect consistent and reliable sex-disaggregated data in all of these areas, which inhibits their ability to implement effective enabling policies and programmes.

"We found that the absence of any one of these elements creates a situation of vulnerability for economies that want to be competitively positioned in the knowledge economy," Huyer says. "No one country or region is ticking off all the boxes, and some are falling dismally short. This is a tremendous waste of resources. We are wasting resources educating women without following through, and we are missing out on the enormous potential that women represent."

"This broad and ambitious assessment is a critical starting point for measuring the participation of women and girls in science, technology and innovation in emerging and developing worlds," said David Ruth, Executive Director of the Elsevier Foundation, "This study identifies key areas of national strength and weakness, and we hope it will help form the basis of evidence-based policy making and aid going forward."

Spearheaded by Women in Global Science & Technology and the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World, the report was funded by The Elsevier Foundation, which provides grant programs targeting women scientists in the early stages of their careers.

Further information: http://www.wigsat.org/


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Numbers of women in science and technology fields alarmingly low in leading economies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003082719.htm>.
Elsevier. (2012, October 3). Numbers of women in science and technology fields alarmingly low in leading economies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003082719.htm
Elsevier. "Numbers of women in science and technology fields alarmingly low in leading economies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003082719.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins