Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Karen Mullan highlights International Day of Women and Girls in Science
The Foyle MLA said:
“February 11th marks International Day of Women and Girls in Science which promotes the achievement of full and equal access to, and participation in, science for women and girls, to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
“Despite efforts over recent years, the numbers of women participating and working in science, and in particular fields of science, remain much lower than men.
“In 2016, women represented 21% of those employed in careers in the core STEM subjects; 18% of ICT professionals; and only eight per cent of those employed in engineering.
“The drop-out rate of women from degree to post-graduate, post-doctoral and beyond from STEM subjects and careers lead to very low representation of women at higher career levels.
“This must be addressed. This means tackling the real and perceived barriers which limit the opportunities of women having rewarding, well-paid careers in these fields.
“Good initiatives and programmes are in place to address gender disparity in STEM, however we still need to do more to ensure we highlight opportunities and showcase role models.
“Young girls need to be able to see positive role models in all walks of life.
“There is a responsibility on everyone in a leadership role, in politics, business, academia and civic society, to address gender equality and reduce barriers to participation by women.
“We need to encourage the half of the population most inclined to opt-out of science to opt in, to see opportunities for themselves and for society through their contribution.”