In a world increasingly driven by science, technology and innovation, it is essential to level the playing field for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to improve the productivity and awareness of countries. The lack of women scientists in the world not only generates more inequality in the present but also influences the future. Girls, not seeing references in these areas, tend to eliminate these possibilities from among the answers to one of the most important questions in life: What do you want to be when you grow up? But beyond this rather invisible social impact,
the shortage of women in science has concrete consequences – economically and scientifically. Gender equality in STEM is key to achieving each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda. That is why the following question arises: What should we do to include more girls in the fields of science?
- Promote cooperative science learning:
It is important that both boys and girls interact equally in science-related school work. Sharing learning with their peers helps to spark girls’ interest in science from an early age. Equally important is the involvement of parents through schools and teachers themselves.
- Putting science within their reach:
If the underrepresentation of women in STEM careers is due to cultural reasons and not to innate gender differences or false stereotypes, different actors can help eliminate these false beliefs that discourage girls from becoming scientists. Science and technology are part of our lives and it is important that we make them aware of it, even in the smallest things.
- Encourage self-confidence in girls:
This is a representative and important aspect to end the gap, a reason to reflect, and to encourage girls and women to choose those studies that most attract them, because they are prepared for any of them, such as the rest of the boys and men. It is critical to ensure that all students have equal opportunities so that talent and innovation can flourish in schools, businesses, hospitals, research centers and public agencies. Women can contribute to research and development with specific perspectives, priorities and approaches, which means that gender equality in STEM can also foster the improvement of science, technology and innovation.
Women’s parity, participation and leadership in STEM!
Nataly Belen Montesinos Canales – Peru