Realizing that the low representation of women in science and engineering is a major hindrance to global capacity building in science and technology, the IAC formed an Advisory Panel on Women for science with the mandate to review previous studies, provide examples of effective projects already implemented, and issue a set of actionable recommendations addressed particularly to the world’s science and engineering academies.
The recommendations and action items developed through the work of this Panel are presented in this report and are grouped around three themes:
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After introducing the major issues related to full inclusion of women in the science and technology enterprise (Chapter 1), the report sketches some of the existing efforts by governments and international organizations. It outlines new initiatives, additional measures that need to be taken, and recommends further strengthening and accelerating of efforts. This will require a cultural transformation from women’s consignment to a separate and lesser sphere to an inclusive climate that allows, even encourages, them to bring their talents to bear (Chapter 2). Education and training of girls and women, and the promotion of women’s careers, are presented in light of this necessary cultural transformation (Chapter 3). The report then argues that the engagement and empowerment of grassroots women are essential to technological capacity building in developing countries (Chapter 4). Recognizing that academies can take the lead and act as advocates, the report offers an agenda for changing of institutional cultures —beginning within academies’ own walls—to facilitate progress both at home and abroad. Finally, the report reorganizes its main recommendations (from Chapters 3, 4, and 5) in accordance with academies’ diverse functions, while also allowing for the great variability between academies, so that these action items may more readily be implemented.
We firmly believe that women have a critical role to play in harnessing the power of science and technology for the welfare of humanity, and that academies can help ensure the full contribution of women scientists towards this goal.
Johanna LEVELT SENGERS Advisory Panel Co-Chair
Manju SHARMA Advisory Panel Co-Chair