Let’s take a look back 100 years from today. If I would ask you about the most influential people in Science and Technology of that era, answers would vary from Albert Einstein to Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg. Some might say even Edison or Nikola Tesla! But do you notice a pattern here?
Marie Curie, the only person to have the Nobel Prize for two different fields, would be among the only few women who would be recognized. And even she wouldn’t be among the first names for most people, then and now. I hope you sense the real problem here. As apparent as glass, it is clear that women are grossly misrepresented in the STEM community. And as the example of Marie Curie points out, the problem is not just their low numbers, it is how they are treated.
STEM majors are the challenge takers, who believe that they can design the world into a new future, pushing on what we have today. While one can argue that gender equality was not present in yesteryears, we want to make it normal. But there lies a challenge — how do we know what to solve, if the problem statement itself is vague?
The male community, as inclusive as they can be, still cannot understand certain social issues which only women face. If there are not enough women in STEM, there will not be enough women to find solutions to problems that deal with them. And if there are not enough women, the problem persists and women still do not pursue STEM. You see, it’s a vicious cycle.
To make the community a better place, we need more and more empowering women to take up the challenges of society and defeat it through technology and science!
Here’s an example – Did you know, for generations, the medical industry had always used a male as the model to develop the right quantity of pharmaceutical medicines and drugs? In many cases, possible side-effects in women were not even considered. Even the lab rats used to test these drugs were often male in gender, unless it was a female-specific drug. I do not want to believe that we, as a species, ignored half of our population’s health needs in such a gross manner. The situation only changed when women started fighting their way into pharmaceutical and medical fields.
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GirlScript Foundation, a non-profit organization, will be hosting the GirlScript India Summit in Ahmedabad on Dec 16 and 17. The Summit is India’s first women-oriented technical fest. The aim is to celebrate knowledge, women and innovation and simultaneously spread the message of equality in technology.
I hope we see an insurgence of new and brilliant women into the STEM fields, because there are problems greater than us, which can only be solved if everyone holds their hands together and fights as one. For STEM and for women is for humankind.
Credits: SheThePeople.TV partners with Girl Script For Their Summit in Ahmedabad