Increasing women’s awareness and celebration at STEM drives global innovation

The New Year brings it an optimistic feeling and hope for what is in the future. Despite being felt as often as the overwhelming 2021 in the face of unprecedented challenges associated with Covid-19, optimism accelerates and improves the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It has emerged in the form of new inventions, collaborations and developments. Many areas of life.

I was particularly moved by the global awareness surrounding the discovery of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine by Dr. Sarah Gilbert. A year after the UK, the vaccine was introduced, 2.5 billion doses were given worldwide, countless lives were saved, many people were not hospitalized, and pressure on medical services was reduced. rice field.

This innovation has demonstrated the impact of science on our daily lives and has built a close relationship between the general public and the scientific community. However, this is a rare example of public recognition and admiration by female scientists, which is a barrier to supporting Gender Diversity efforts at STEM.

You can’t be what you can’t see

Indeed, as a result of the year-on-year increase, more than one million women are currently working at STEM, but still account for less than 30% of the world’s STEM workforce.

Far from checkbox exercises and fads, here are bigger issues and implications that go beyond the need to deal with gender differences. This is related to the unique value and contribution of women in the STEM industry. Although some of the world’s best scientists and engineers are women, many continue to be dominated by men.

It’s not about gender or ethnic assignments, but it’s worth noting that there are no women in the scientific category of recent Nobel laureates.

However, we already know that diverse teams excel at solving problems and developing innovative solutions to challenging problems. This is well documented in the study of corporate leadership and board membership, with companies with more diverse leadership performing far better in terms of financial indicators.

Much like today’s workplace, STEM should foster a comprehensive and diverse environment, remove systematic barriers to STEM career progress, and implement policies and programs that encourage and support women. We need to redefine what scientists look like in society so that young women and girls can see themselves in role models and aim for the same ambitions.

The educational system and educational community play an important role in achieving this. From paying more clear attention to the achievements of female scientists, to developing and pursuing support systems for female students who were first interested in STEM. ..

During the pandemic, we witnessed the importance of usually competitive scientists and nations in the face of existential threats. In this respect, the value of diverse contributions has enabled the advancement and acceleration of innovation, as well as the ability to provide large-scale solutions. The same applies to STEM.

Diversity brings astounding results by allowing 50% of the world’s population to contribute to STEM, broadening the perspectives, questions and territories that researchers seek and increasing the potential for new discoveries. , Make science better. In short, women offer both deep expertise and a broad perspective.

Scientists and politicians know that science and technology are at the heart of providing solutions to some of humanity’s greatest challenges, from the climate crisis to health and sustainability to the global epidemic. It certainly creates the hope that the education system will continue to cooperate. For a richer future.

However, if STEM wants to benefit and support diverse societies as a whole, adopt more role models and expressions of their diversity in these areas to ensure the attractiveness of their careers in STEM. , The talent pipeline needs to be available in the future. Guarantee and the younger generation can continue to work to turn purpose into progress.

First and foremost, teams that do not include women have lost half of the talent in this world. The lack of team diversity also limits the perspectives women can bring into their questions. Limiting who can contribute also limits the problems that can be solved.

Accessibility helps ambition

I talked about the need for better communication, visibility and storytelling, both in terms of the impact of science and technology on everyday impacts and the role of women in their progress. Equally important to these factors is the need to enable awareness, incentives, and accessibility to disadvantaged groups that are underestimated by STEM.

The STEM community is doing great work to promote awareness and involvement in these groups, including STEM-oriented field days, workshops, mentoring schemes, and workplace placements in research and academia. There are also more and more private sector philanthropic and CSR initiatives designed to enable solution-focused innovation.

For example, I Vin Future AwardIs a global award established last year in Vietnam to pledge $ 4.5 million annually to reward breakthrough scientific research and innovation that improve lives around the world.

Unlike other science awards, it focuses on the combination of scientific and humanitarian achievements with the most urgent challenges facing humanity and recommendations centered on the role of science and technology in addressing them.

The Foundation hopes to revolutionize the way female scientists are evaluated, rewarded and recognized through the Women’s Special Awards. But it also fosters, nurtures and ignites passion and beliefs among people around the world who may be interested in pursuing a career at STEM.

This extends to additional awards for innovators in developing countries. Developing countries are usually unacceptable because their voices have not been heard as widely as they deserve.

Prestigious ceremonies already exist, but it is not enough to have a clear focus on how science and technology can create a better world for all. Awareness of this type of scientific outcome is important in promoting diversity within the scientific community to increase the accessibility of future innovators. ..

Nurturing the future of women with STEM

Recognizing and acknowledging women’s achievements within STEM will invigorate new talents and encourage the next generation of women to consider rewarding careers in the STEM field, while at the same time addressing global innovation and complex challenges. You can accelerate the solution.

My message to anyone considering a career at STEM is to always question what you don’t understand, work hard and have big dreams. And finally, the most important thing is humanity and the world around you.

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Increasing women’s awareness and celebration at STEM drives global innovation

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