February 11th, 2022 is the 7th Annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science (IDWGS)
IDWGS was created to celebrate women and girls as both agents and beneficiaries of change in the scientific world, IDWG’s theme for this year is “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Water Unites Us.” https://www.womeninscienceday.org/
This day is part of a broader United Nations effort to improve access to science education and careers for women and girls. Women make up just over half the population worldwide and have almost reached matching representation in some scientific occupations, especially in developed nations. However, in most cases, women make up a minority – and, too often, a very small one – in those fields.
- In the U.S., Women fill 47% of mathematical occupations but only 20% of computer science & engineering.
- Women make up 48% of scientific researchers in Central Asia
- Only 33% in North America and Western Europe
- 32% in Sub-Saharan Africa and 19% in South and West Asia.
These gaps are especially wide in the geosciences, the area of specialization for many scientists focused on the environment and sustainability: women earn only 34% of geoscience Ph.D’s, make up only 26% of entry-level geoscience professors, and fill only 8% of the highest-ranked faculty positions.
These numbers are significant, and the need to create parity is urgent, because scientific careers are some of the world’s fastest-growing and highest-paying occupations. Even more important, the challenges we are working on as a scientific community – from pandemics to climate change – are among the most pressing faced by the world today. We simply can’t afford to have half of our best players on the sidelines at this critical juncture in human history.
I encourage you to take some time to learn more about ways to encourage talented and interested girls to pursue their scientific dreams. https://www.aauw.org/resources/research/the-stem-gap/