Gender gap in science and technology

Marcela Storm


It is unacceptable that even in 2023, after more than a century of struggle for social equality, girls and women still have to face systemic and cultural barriers that limit their participation and progress in the field of science and technology.

 The gap between men and women in the scientific-technological area is a reflection of the sexual division of labor.  From an early age, girls are subjected through different ideological apparatuses to gender stereotypes that make them believe that science is not for them and that their social roles are different, which limits their confidence and motivation.  This, coupled with a lack of role models and a lack of support, resources and opportunities, keeps them away from scientific careers.

 The figures are eloquent and show the magnitude of the problem.  According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), in the world only 35% of science, technology, engineering and mathematics students, and barely 28% of researchers, are women.  As if this were not enough, a 2019 study from the University of Cambridge found that women linked to these areas receive payments on average 9% less than men.  In other words, not only are we few in this field, but our work is worth less.  And what about the glass ceiling in the sector: if entering this field is already a complex matter, reaching visible leadership positions is a true odyssey.

 Another aggravating circumstance is harassment and discrimination in the work environment.  Women often face sexist comments that can negatively affect their performance and well-being.  In the United States, for example, a recent study from the University of Texas-Austin found that 41% of women in science have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.

 Of course, there have been advances in terms of public policies that promote educational and work environments suitable for the development of women in the scientific-technological field, but the barriers still exist.  So everything points to the fact that, beyond awareness programs and campaigns to encourage the incorporation of girls into these areas, a different order of the sexual and social division of labor is needed and, therefore, a new way of conceiving the way of relating.

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