Promoting early interest in STEM and role identification for girls, is of urgent interest for many global initiatives (e.g. Organization for Women in Science in the Developing World, 2021). Increasing proportions of girls and women studying and working in STEM would contribute not only to scientific development but to more equitable and sustainable societies, including gendered economic outcomes.
However, any focus on recruitment must also focus on retention and progression of women studying and working in STEM, including identifying barriers at key transitional stages of one’s ‘STEM journey’. Therefore, our project - Gendered Journeys: the trajectories of STEM students and graduates through higher education (HE) and into employment, in India and Rwanda, focusses on gender inequalities in STEM in India and Rwanda, in order to cross-culturally explore gendered inequalities in STEM beyond the dominant literature from North America and Europe.
In this briefing paper, we briefly look at the global context before exploring the complex and intersectional nature of gender inequalities in STEM fields in India and Rwanda in particular, drawing on the WEF 2020 Gender Gap report. Given this context, we proceed to describe how our project will contribute to the ongoing work that aims to understand why these inequalities persist and develop interventions, particularly online interventions to tackle the imbalance, and prevent inequalities from widening, particularly in a post-Covid 19 environment.
Keywords: Gender, women, STEM, Educator, Access, Student, employers
Authors: Emma Seddona, C. Lidoa, B. Reada, J. Umutonib, M.C. Cyulinyanac, B. Sladea, Srabani Maitraa, S. Chatterjeea, Saikat Maitrad, and M. Thakurd
a School of Education, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK; b Centre for Gender Studies, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda; c School of Science, College of Science and Technology, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda; d Public Policy and Management Group, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Kolkata, India