The business community, science and research institutions have a stake in bridging the gender disparities in STEM. On the 6th UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we celebrate the achievements of women in STEM. We also highlight how we can help more women create, invent and discover a better tomorrow.
“To rise to the challenges of the 21st century, we need to harness our full potential. That requires dismantling gender stereotypes. On this International Day of Women and Girls in Science, let’s pledge to end the gender imbalance in science..”
UN Secretary-General António Guterres
Thursday, 11 February 2021 is the 6th UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Gender equality in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers remains vital for the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations. At present, less than 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are women. According to UNESCO data (2014 - 2016), only around 30 per cent of all female students select STEM-related fields in higher education. Globally, female students’ enrolment is particularly low in ICT (3 per cent), science, mathematics and statistics (5 per cent) and in engineering, manufacturing and construction (8 per cent).
Considering that women and girls represent half of the world’s population, this means they signify half of its capability and promise. The world needs diverse thinking among innovators to come up with new solutions to the challenges that we face on both a global and domestic front. Achieving gender equality in the fields of STEM is, therefore, better for us all - studying and working in STEM not only creates opportunities for you to make a positive difference, but may also provide job security especially in respect of how STEM skills are highly valued in New Zealand.
2021 theme: Women scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19
This year, the theme of the recognition day is “women scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19.” The global pandemic has demonstrated the critical role of women researchers at different stages of the COVID-19 response. This also reminds us about the significant negative impact on women scientists, particularly affecting those at the beginning of their careers, thus contributing to widening the gender gap.
That's why it’s more important than ever to recognise the contributions made by women in STEM that have led to innovation and improvement, whether that’s developing new robotics and technology in agriculture, leading the development of new medications or formulations, or getting involved in various environmental projects, just to name a few of the many opportunities available in STEM - whatever path or directions are taken, only you can be the driver of making these ideas into a reality.
The 2021 main event will take place online, which you can register for. A simultaneous interpretation of the debates will be provided in English and French.
Bridging the gender disparities in STEM
The business community, science and research institutions have a stake in bridging the gender disparities in STEM. In recognising this special day, here are some inspiring stories at LABTEC that we hope will continue to motivate today and tomorrow’s leaders in STEM:
Meet Nardene, Laboratory Manager
We're proud Nardene recently joined the team as Laboratory Manager. Highly experienced, successful and well-regarded, Nardene is a key asset of our leadership team and will be instrumental in LABTEC’s continued growth strategy and client commitment. Read announcement >
Meet Paige, Science Graduate
Ever wondered what a career in science would be like? Paige describes her experience as a science graduate and now valued member of the team who followed her passion in logical thinking to embark on a career in science. Read more >>
Meet Amy, Senior Chemist
Upskilling and keeping abreast of new developments empower us to make an even greater contribution. Amy demonstrates how continued learning has been part of her everyday work. Learn more >>
About UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science
The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, celebrated annually on the 11 February, was implemented by UNESCO and UN-Women, in collaboration with institutions and civil society partners that aim to promote women and girls in science.
Since its proclamation by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science aims to raise awareness of gender disparities in science. Gender equality is a global priority for UNESCO, and the support of young girls, their education and their full ability to make their ideas heard are levers for development and peace.
For more information visit UNESCO and the United Nations websites.
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