In the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), there have been increasingly female students at undergraduate and graduate levels. However, beyond those levels, women leaders are still rare.
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, the Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2009 for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome, also acknowledges “a very rigid career structure in science, which doesn’t allow for breaks, which doesn’t allow for balance between family and work.”
Lack of women in science means women might not get the quality of health care that men receive. Women face unique challenges in multiple aspects including health. For example, since 1989 we learned that heart attacks are generally more severe in women.
Women can bring different / alternative perspectives in problem solving. To increase the breadth and depth of discoveries, breakthroughs, and inventions, more women are needed in R&D.
How can we support our girls and women?
- allow them to play with toys that look like female scientists.
- early immersion: to children play = serious work; hence work can be = serious play.
- guide them to learn how to overcome loneliness.