Monday, June 24, 2024

In science, women are still underrepresented

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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According to a UNESCO study, women are still underrepresented among researchers around the world, a large minority in the scientific professions, at risk of “losing the boat of tomorrow’s jobs.”

They represent only 28% of engineering graduates, 40% of computer science graduates, and 22% of AI professionals …, according to an excerpt from a science report, scheduled for April, but UNESCO publishes the chapter on gender on the occasion of World Day For Women and Girl in Science on February 11th.

The authors emphasize that women in particular are still a minority in digital information technology, computing, physics, mathematics, and engineering, “that is, many of the central disciplines of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the carriers of tomorrow’s careers.”

However, women often work in occupations threatened by this revolution. According to a study conducted in 2011-2017 in England, they held 70% of the jobs at high risk of automation and only 43% of the least threatening jobs, the report recalls.

They add that their underrepresentation in the scientific professions “is even more problematic due to the lack of skills in many of these areas, especially in the artificial intelligence sector.”

“Even today, in the twenty-first century, women and girls are being excluded from fields related to science because of their gender,” Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of the United Nations Agency for Education, Science and Culture, was quoted by the newspaper. Release.

“Women should know that they can excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and that they have the right to participate in scientific progress,” says Ms. Azoulay.

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However, global averages hide some nice variations.

Thus Algeria can be proud of 48.5% of engineers and 48.9% of women in the ICT field, Benin 54.5% are engineers and 55.1% of women in information and communication technology, while Switzerland leads 16% and 9.9%, respectively, the United States with 20.4. %, 23.6%, Netherlands 23.6%, 1%, 14.5% …

In fact, the proportion of women among engineering graduates is below the global average in many OECD member states (Australia: 23.2%, Canada: 19.7%, Chile: 17.7%, Republic of Korea: 20.1%, France: 26.1%. Japan: 14.0%)

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