Women in Science Leadership: A New Era for Sustainability
Tackling some of the greatest challenges of the Agenda for Sustainable Development - from improving health to combating climate change - will rely on harnessing all talent. That means getting more women working in these fields. Diversity in research expands the pool of talented researchers, bringing in fresh perspectives, talent and creativity. This Day is a reminder that women and girls play a critical role in science and technology communities and that their participation should be strengthened.
Although Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields are widely regarded as critical to national economies, so far most countries, no matter their level of development, have not achieved gender equality in STEM.
A significant gender gap has persisted throughout the years at all levels of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines all over the world. Even though women have made tremendous progress towards increasing their participation in higher education, they are still under-represented in these fields.
Gender equality has always been a core issue for the United Nations. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will make a crucial contribution not only to economic development of the world, but to progress across all the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well.
On 14 March 2011, the Commission on the Status of Women adopted a report at its fifty-fifth session, with agreed conclusions on access and participation of women and girls in education, training and science and technology, and for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work. On 20 December 2013, the General Assembly adopted a resolution on science, technology and innovation for development, in which it recognized that full and equal access to and participation in science, technology and innovation for women and girls of all ages is imperative for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
The 9th International Day of Women and Girls in Science Assembly will take place on 8-9 February 2024 at the United Nations Headquarters, New York City (subject to availability and approval). Join women in science leaders and experts from around the world, high-level government officials, representatives of international organizations and the private sector, to discuss women leadership in achieving the three pillars of Sustainable Development, namely economic prosperity, social justice, and environmental integrity.
Did you know?
Women are typically given smaller research grants than their male colleagues and, while they represent 33.3% of all researchers, only 12% of members of national science academies are women.
In cutting edge fields such as artificial intelligence, only one in five professionals (22%) is a woman.
Despite a shortage of skills in most of the technological fields driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution, women still account for only 28% of engineering graduates and 40% of graduates in computer science and informatics.
Female researchers tend to have shorter, less well-paid careers. Their work is underrepresented in high-profile journals and they are often passed over for promotion.