LA TROBE University scientists took the opportunity on the United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science on 11 Feb to raise awareness of the ongoing under-representation of women in STEM disciplines.
They said it's an opportunity to promote full and equal access to, and participation in, science for women and girls.
This day is important because women are often given smaller research grants than their male colleagues, said the researchers.
While women represent 33.3% of all researchers, only 12% of members of national science academies are women, and in cutting-edge fields such as artificial intelligence, only one in five professionals is a woman.
The science experts also explained that despite a shortage of skills in most of the technological fields driving the fourth Industrial Revolution, women still account for only 28% of engineering graduates and 40% of graduates in computer science and informatics.
Female researchers also tend to have shorter, less well-paid careers, and women's work is under-represented in high-profile journals, as well as being often passed over for promotion.
La Trobe's Head of Structural Biology Prof Begona Heras said, "changes enabling greater female participation in STEM include flexible work arrangements, blind hiring/grant processes to reduce bias, mentoring programs, highlighting successful female role models, and overall fostering inclusive environments where diversity is highly valued".
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