Posted on Monday, December 11, 2017
By Kadri

Advancing Women in Science: An International Perspective.
Edited by Willie Pearson, Jr, Lisa M. Frehill, Connie L. McNeely

The collection of articles in this book presents a variety of approaches to what might be the reasons that there's a relative lack of women in certain fields of science. In addition it gives some insight about why even when women are quite well represented in the field, the scientific field itself might still be dominated at the highest reaches by men for a variety of reasons.

The focus of the articles is varied from attitudes, culture, education and many other sometimes even surprising aspects. Some of the articles are more general, whilst some present specific situations from different countries. I found those the most illuminating and very valuable because of the international reach.

Some of the issues that women who'd like to work in a STEM field might sound simpler and easier to solve than they really are. Depending on the culture it's not always easy or even acceptable for a woman to even study long enough to get a higher education, not to even mention striving for achievements in science or technology.

All in all the collection gives the impression that the reasons why women might not study science, mathematics or informatics as often as men are very different from country to country depending on the country's recent history, the cultural and religious background. While in some cases it might seem as if it is easy to point a finger at specific causes for lack of women in science, it is much more complex.

Some of the solutions and various policies that might improve and already have improved the situation are also presented. I found it fascinating, especially since improving women's participation in STEM fields would also help other minorities participation in those fields or at least show the way to it.


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