What is the Gender Gap in Science Project?
What is meant by gender gap?
The gender gap is the difference between women and men “in terms of their levels of participation, access, rights, remuneration or benefits” . It is usually analyzed and measured through various specific indicators. The Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI), for instance, aims to measure this gap in four key areas: health, education, economics and politics. The Global Gender Gap Report is published annually by the World Economic Forum since 2006 and ranks countries according to the value of their GGGI.
What about the gender gap in science?
According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) fewer than 30% of the world’s researchers are women, which reflects a clear gender gap in science. But to truly understand and reduce the gender gap, it is necessary to go beyond these numbers and identify the various factors that deter women from pursuing careers or succeeding in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
What distinguishes your project from the numerous other projects or publications addressing the gender gap in science?
Indeed, there is intensive research on the gender gap in science and a lot of literature has already been published.
Our project is distinct from prior works in several ways. First, its scope is global rather than restricted to a specific part of the world. It is also multidisciplinary rather than restricted to one discipline. Another specificity is that, though it will result in several research publications, and the bulk of the work has been done by professionals, the project leaders are a combination of scientists and specialists of gender gap related issues.
What happened within the project?
The project A Global Approach to the Gender Gap in Mathematical, Computing, and Natural Sciences: How to measure it? How to reduce it? in short Gender Gap in Science project has taken place from 2017 to 2019.
It contributed to the analysis of the Gender Gap in Science from three complementary perspectives:
- The Global Survey of Scientists addresses issues related to missing role models, feelings of critical exclusion, harassment, or low participation and retention rates. See part 2/9 (to be published 14/10/2020) and part 3/9 (to be published 21/10/2020).
- The Study of Publication Patterns provides insights on the proportion of women as research authors or the presence of women publishing in renowned journals. See part 4/9 (to be published 28/10/2020) and part 5/9 (to be published 4/11/2020).
- The Database of Good Practices introduces a conceptual framework to analyze them, in order to provide evidence of effectiveness and impact. See part 6/9 (to be published 11/11/2020).
What are the recommendations of the Gender Gap in Science project?
There are recommendations based on the findings of the project and from discussions held within the network created around the project.
- They are intended for instructors and parents, who have an important role to play in changing societal perceptions and stereotypes towards women in science and in engaging girls in primary, secondary, and higher education. See part 7/9 (to be published 18/11/2020).
- There are also recommendations for scientific or educational organizations of all kinds, since these are the places where scientific life takes place daily. See also part 7/9.
- There are finally recommendations for Scientific Unions and other worldwide organizations, in particular the unions members of the project. By Unions we mean worldwide members of the International Science Council, in particular those that are members of our project. See part 8/9 (to be published 25/11/2020).
What is the future of the project?
This is the topic to be discussed in part 9/9 (to be published 2/12/2020).
Who funded the project and what were its partners?
It was mainly funded by the International Science Council (ISC). Its partners also contributed to the budget.
Eleven organizations have joined their efforts. Seven of these are union members of the International Science Council: namely the International Mathematical Union (IMU) through its Committee for Women in Mathematics (leader); the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) (coleader); the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP); the International Astronomical Union (IAU); the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS); the International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM); and the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IUHPST). The other four organizations are the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), through its project STEM and Gender Advancement (SAGA); Gender in Science, Innovation, Technology and Engineering (GenderInSITE); the Organization of Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD); and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), through ACM-W.
Marie-Françoise Roy et Colette Guillopé