Inspiring Women in STEM

Samantha Swamy

Women make up over half of the world’s population. However, according to a study conducted by UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics, less than 30% of the world’s researchers are women. For International Women’s Day, March 8, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is working to change this number through their Press for Progress campaign. The association not only wants to bring to light and fix discrepancies that women face in access to STEM education and inclusiveness in the workplace, but also to celebrate the accomplishments of women scientists and researchers who have made invaluable contributions to their respective fields of work.

One such leader is Dr. Isabel Escobar, a professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Kentucky and Patron Member of AWIS since 2008. When asked about the most important attribute to empowering a woman in STEM, she cited mentorship, saying that it “plays a pivotal role in the AWIS community, especially when facing the all-too-common isolation that women in STEM can encounter.” As long as women like Dr. Escobar continue to mentor and press for progress, the number of women receiving STEM educations and pursuing STEM careers could eventually rise.

Samantha Swamy is a Communications Intern with Research!America.

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If concerted, long-term investments in research are not made, America will lose an entire generation of young scientists.
Brenda Canine, PhD; McLaughlin Research Institute, Montana