Adversities Faced by Women in STEM and Rising Against These Odds
STEM is a diverse field with hundreds of opportunities to explore. It’s a didactic field from where one acquires vast knowledge and experiences success as well as failures through experimenting, research and development. As STEM is an amalgamation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, the field too, should have diversity. But the appalling reality of diversity in STEM is not only the smaller ratio of women but also the escalating number of women facing adversities in all its wicked ways.
It is well known that it is the 21st century and women have started to rise up along with men, some even competing men but the adversities faced behind that ‘Rise up’ game are atrocious. Every woman scientist is leading in her own field but 7 on 10 women in science face problems that often puts them in a dilemma to opt between their self-respect, their worth and their career. Our society has been male dominated for ages. In a male dominated field of research, women are often harassed and intimidated in a way that causes others to misjudge them and undermine their capabilities. Pressuring women under the bricks of gender bias, tyrannical behaviour just to prove supremacy and domination by men as well as women themselves, unfortunately restricts some women flourish and thrive in STEM. Typical thoughts that ‘women are weaker than men’ or ‘men are stronger than women’ and barbaric behaviour are what cause women scientists to underestimate themselves and step back from their success. If women are expected to deliver their best and achieve success beyond expectations in the research they pursue, they should not be treated less than assets.
STEM has evidenced contributions from powerful women scientists like Janaki Ammal, Madame Curie, Rosalind Franklin, Lisa Meitner, Ada Lovelace, Asima Chatterjee, Rohini Godbole, Ritu Karidhal with all their ground breaking research. But with the number of women scientists in every country facing problems that stops them from thriving to achieve their best, STEM will be no longer powerful as it has been since ages. The adversities faced by women in STEM are not given as much importance as they deserve. Although women are mentally stronger and can pull themselves to keep on going with the flow where they are harassed, the people behind causing this trauma to women must be stopped by every single person in the field. It is a fact that nobody stands with a person who has lost hope himself; but if women facing problems dodge every obstacle and are firm on their decision to accomplish what they wanted to achieve in the first place, there will be no force on this planet that would dare to stop them from succeeding. But as not all can face the problems brave heartedly, these problems faced by women should be solved meticulously and there will be a never ending list of women scientists uniting with men with all their explicit achievements and STEM will burgeon to the highest apogee.
Women are the only creatures blessed with beauty and brains both and if they are considered as important as men, STEM will be a different field to research in. If all the adversities faced by women in science are put to an end, there will be no woman stepping back in the face of adversity but only rising stronger in the face of it. And to achieve so, the diversity in academia should unite to fight back against the ones practicing the ‘Let women down’ game and work together to flourish in every way by terminating all the adversities and no field including STEM shall be uninspiring.
Written by Rachna Jadhav