Women have contributed a lot to science. Countless game-changing discoveries from women past and present have made the world a better place. But the world of science is still far from a level playing field. Not only is there a glass ceiling for women in science: there are clear barriers to entry. Today, just 2% of women earn PhDs in science, technology, engineering & math (STEM) – which is three times lower than their male counterparts.
Despite girls and boys studying STEM-related subjects in relatively equal numbers at high school, just 28.8% of researchers worldwide are women. So, what’s holding women back?
The reality is that long-standing biases and gender stereotypes still lurk in our subconscious. According to the Geena Davis Institute, just 14% of on-screen characters portrayed as having STEM-related careers are women. This perhaps helps explain why a shocking 67% of Europeans stated that they felt women didn’t have the skills for “high-level scientific positions” when surveyed by beauty brand (and valued DSM partner) L’Oréal.
It’s clear that we all need to do more, especially in tackling this unconscious bias to stop women leaking out of the STEM talent pipeline at every stage of their careers. The question is what? And how?
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