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Gender Gap In Indian STEM Faculties

Gender Gap In Indian STEM Faculties:

A significant gender gap exists in Indian STEM(science, technology, engineering, and math) faculties, with a BiasWatchIndia study revealing that only 13.5% of faculty members across 98 universities and institutes are women.

  • This underrepresentation is more prominent in India compared to countries like the US and UK.
  • Gender Gap in Indian STEM Faculties is due to :
    • Social Bias Against Women in Certain STEM Fields: Fields like Biology, seen as “soft sciences,” have higher female representation compared to hard sciences like Engineering and Physics.
      Societal biases discourage women from pursuing fields perceived as less feminine, affecting their choices in higher education and research.
    • Lack of Support During PostDoc to Faculty Transition: The critical transition from postdoc to faculty often aligns with family planning, leading to difficult choices for women.
    • Societal pressure prioritising family over career ambitions and a lack of support structures exacerbate the challenge.
    • Toxic Workplace Environment: Many women exit STEM academia due to a toxic work environment.
    • Factors include disrespect, inadequate access to resources, and limited advancement opportunities compared to male colleagues.
    • Difficulty Accessing Gender Representation Data: Absence of a central database tracking women faculty in STEM across India.
    • Lack of data hinders understanding of the gender gap and monitoring progress towards gender equality.