This begs the questions, where do women go and why does it seem to be that they disappear from the fields that they have earned these degrees in?
Women that have succeeded in various disciplines in science are often so rare that they can be seen as anomalies even by other women in the same field. Even with a doctoral degree, it would seem women are only able to find administrative positions at government institutions, universities and colleges or start alternative careers as science writers and communicators; policy advisers. Unfortunately in those career paths their scientific knowledge is only partially in use. Graduate students possess the skills required for any administrative job and while its normal that many of them are taking this path, the prevalence of women can be imbalanced.
We must talk about gender bias in a constructive and productive manner as it is an issue that affects everyone. These conversations also are not limited to occuring just in the workplace. Some of them can and should begin at home, where both boys and girls should be taught that there is no such thing as a strictly female or male job. There are also many other resources that can help move these conversations forward. Mighty girl is a great source for inspirational books and movies that portray strong girls and women. Getting more female leaders involved in mentoring young female scientists and foundations like Scientista is very important part of the solution at the college and university level. The creation of online tools with the profiles of women in academia, like Academia.Net will help amplify women profiles to become more visible and help to encourage female scientists explore new opportunities (1, 6). Mass media should focus on showing more female scientists and women at leading positions in other scientific disciplines. These solutions will not provide overnight or immediate solutions but everyone should be doing their part, no matter how small, to start moving the needle in a more positive direction.
Lidiya’s curiosity about “how the life works” led her to complete a Master’s degree in Biology and a PhD in Microbiology. Science gave her more questions than answers and after a few years as a postdoc at the National Institute of Health in Rockville, MD, USA, she decided to pursue her “first” love in writing. Not long after that, she became a mom of a wonderful girl, who is a very energetic toddler now. She loves to travel and has lived in many countries; she is still looking for a place to settle down. Lidiya is thrilled to be a part of the Scientista bloggers team, and loves being able to connect with lots of wonderful young, and already established female scientists, while writing about science, life and everything else.