Women make up more than half of the U. S. population¹, however we know that they are underrepresented in physics and astronomy. And the gender gap worsens the further women advance in their scientific careers².
Women in science still face significant barriers in their career trajectories. For example, women scientists receive fewer awards, grants, speaking invitations, and promotions than their male colleagues. As a result, their networking and mentorship opportunities greatly suffer. Women scientists also continue to grapple with microaggressions and harassment in the workplace, with predictably negative impacts on career satisfaction and retention.
The first step in addressing any problem is being aware of the contributing factors. We must also understand what has been effective thus far in making positive change so that we can build on that foundation.
To facilitate this, we’ve pulled together an excellent set of resources on gender equity and inclusion in STEM fields. These publications only represent a portion of the work that’s been done on the subject. However, they are the materials that most inspired and challenged us to consider many potential solutions to the problems women face in physics and astronomy.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion strengthen what is possible in any endeavor. When the talents of women and other marginalized gender identities in physics and astronomy are supported and elevated, the science benefits and the fields are strengthened for the future.
² Ivie and Tesfaye 2012; Moss-Racusin et al