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World


More women, girls needed in sciences to solve world’s biggest challenges

United Nations, Feb 12 (UNI) Many of the world’s biggest problems may be going unsolved because too many women and girls are being discouraged from the sciences.
The role of science education in a changing world cannot be undervalued, it is estimated that fully 90 per cent of future jobs will require some form of ICT (information and communication technology) skills, and the fastest growing job categories are related to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), with recent studies indicating 58 million net new jobs, in areas such as data analysis, software development and data visualisation.
But women and girls continue to be extremely under-represented in the sciences. Data from UNESCO (the UN’s agency for education, science and culture) shows that less than a third of all female students choose STEM-related subjects in higher education, whilst just three per cent of women choose ICT subjects.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming an increasingly important field, where the diversity of those working on AI solutions has been identified as a crucial element in ensuring that they are free from bias. However, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report shows that only 22 per cent of artificial intelligence professionals globally are female.
There are several reasons for the gender gap in the sciences, from the prioritisation of boys’ education, to gender biases and stereotypes, and the global digital divide, which disproportionately affects women and girls.

The extent to which the world is missing out on potential female scientific talent becomes all the more apparent if we look at some of the extraordinary contribution that women have made to advancing science, contributions that were often overlooked during their working lives, such as Marie Curie, computer pioneer Ada Lovelace, NASA scientist Katherine Johnson, and countless others more whose work continues to be overlooked.
UNI XC RSU 1010
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