International day of Women and Girls in Science: Overcoming the Glass Ceiling and Promoting Equality in the Sector

11 February will be the International day of Women and Girls in Science and more widely in the STEM fields.  Although the gender gap has reduced in the industry in the last decades, females continue to be underrepresented in the sector with only 33% of the research workforce being represented by women.

Research and studies on this topic show that when women are able to progress with their careers and get into higher roles, they are less likely to be promoted. Research has also shown that when awarded research funding, women are awarded less than men for their research projects. As a consequence of this, many organisations face a big loss in their female workforce, and many talented women face frustration with the lack of career progression opportunities.

In the UK, there has been an increasing number of organisations willing to promote and enhance equality and diversity; with the aim of creating a more inclusive workplace and promote gender diversity, it should also be highlighted that promotions should be based on individuals’ who excels rather than gender preferences.

International day of Women and Girls in science has been implemented by UNESCO and UN-Women, working together with governments, institutions and civil partners that aim to promote and enhance girls in science. This day is an opportunity to promote full and equal access to reducing the gender gap in the science industry.

There are a number of positive actions which can be done to increase the female presence in the sector. This can start during school age, by encouraging girls to consider a career in science since a young age. Many organisations send women scientists to speak to girls in school about their job. In some organisations, there are mentoring programmes where women who hold senior roles are able to coach and mentor the ones in more junior roles and also supporting younger women in entering the field.

International day of Women and Girls in science is one big step, which together with positive equality steps and actions to reduce the industry gender gap, will achieve the goal of having full access and participation in science of females and also of empowerment for women and girls in the sector.

About the author

Giulia Falconeri is one of CIPD Manchester’s branch ambassadors. She is passionate about employment law, L&D, recruitment and talent development. Giulia is currently working as a Senior HR Advisor.

Location Manchester, England E-mail Hours Our hours vary according to our programme.
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