The woman in science is trapped in the glass ceiling

On International Working Women’s Day, a warm greeting to all of them. Between the glass ceiling and the sticky floor, women perform jobs with lower pay and fewer opportunities for promotion and career development than their male counterparts.

In particular, I would like to think about tagging, which is an activity that I do.

Science is a complex environment to be a woman. It took centuries for women to realize the same capacity as men for scientific and technological work, and prejudices have only weakened slightly (and it seems) since the recent past.

Online, female scientists and technology students point out that sexist comments are common in academia.

“There is an official discourse about non-discrimination,” says Betina Lima, of Brazil’s National Council for Scientific and Technological Development. “But there is talk about the personal lives of researchers, and even the clothes they wear.

It’s worth noting two emblematic, fairly recent examples: When chemist and mathematician Yvonne Brill, the woman who developed a system to improve space rocket propulsion, died in 2013, The New York Times began her obituary by saying she cooked an exquisite steak stroganoff.

In its second paragraph, the obituary said that Yvonne Brill “was also an accomplished rocket scientist”. After receiving angry complaints from its readers, The New York Times decided to correct the web version of the text and remove the reference to steak stroganoff, though the obituary continued to credit her role as wife and mother rather than as scientist.

In 2015, Dr. Tim Hunt, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Medicine, and member of the London Royal Society for the Advancement of Natural Sciences, referred to women in scientific research: “…three things happen when there are women in the laboratory…they are in Love them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them, they cry. Dr. Hunt’s standing in the scientific community is globally recognized and multiplies the impact of his position.

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Although we are all aware of the powerful development of science and technology in our societies, and the powerful benefits derived from it, male supremacy still applies, both in the generation of knowledge and in its subsequent implementation.

The so-called “scientific method” (a notable concept in the 19th century): rationality, neutrality, objectivity, universality, mythology of scientific activity, masking of conflicts inherent in contents, essential meaning in language, laboratory practice, and mechanisms of exclusion.

The regulation of scientific life, imposed by the patriarchal system, which absorbs work and without schedules, still forces women to choose between being a mother or advancing their careers. The lack of reconciliation between work and personal life is still among the outstanding issues for women.

The stereotype of the researcher, which is still valid and which must be urgently eliminated, is an untainted ascetic person, devoted to the “altar” of science, a stereotype that makes us think of all situations in which discrimination is not verbal but explicit is practiced: preference in employment Men, maternal conditioning of researchers, conditioning of trainees/researchers doing fieldwork.

Every year, UNESCO draws attention to the fact that only three out of ten scientists in international laboratories are women. Statistics show us that the number of female scientists and technologies is still low.

There are many who have not made a professional career, those who are left on the road, or who still cannot travel it. Because although women have made progress in accessing scientific and technological activity, there are still important differences in professional development opportunities for women and men.

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Despite the progress that has been made in recent decades, in productive work men still occupy a leading position, both in the number of jobs and in wages. Men earn on average 32% more than women for equal work, a figure similar to that in the United States (31%) and the United Kingdom (33%).

In technical and scientific fields it is more evident. Women earn 33.5% less than men, and 29.5% in unqualified individuals. That is, the higher the training, the greater the gap in favor of men.

But simply adding women to science and technology is not enough. Gender gaps reduce possibilities for innovation and new perspectives to tackle humanity’s problems. It is necessary to generate knowledge and implement science and technology policies that take into account the various contributions to achieving more equal, inclusive and just societies.

Here we will continue. Existing, education, investigation and claim rights.

Juana L. Gervasoni holds a Ph.D. in physics, a researcher at CNEA and CONICET, and a professor at the Balseiro Institute.

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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