February 11th marked International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Currently less than 30% of the world’s researchers are women and there remain multiple systematic and institutional barriers to women in science. Women have less success in winning grant funding, they publish less, are paid less, do not progress as far in their careers and hold fewer positions in academia compared to their male counterparts. Women scientists also face outright discrimination.
Increasing the prevalence of women, and more so women of colour, in STEM is more important than ever, especially in the context of our current climate crisis. Women of colour are bearing the brunt of climate change, because they have less access to resources, education, and decision-making power than men, and are often the most dependent on natural resources for their livelihood. The impacts of climate change on women of color shows up in the form of economic marginalization, increased gender-based violence and diminishing physical and mental health. Black, Brown and Indigenous women scientists need to be centred in our fight against climate change. They can ask new and more relevant questions than those being asked by entrenched groups, and only they can bring unique and creative angles and solutions to bear in ways that are most useful and acceptable to their communities.
Learn more about the significant gender gap