Subject choice and STEM careers for women in India

Anitha, BK and Raj, Anjali (2022) Subject choice and STEM careers for women in India. Seminar, 760. pp. 20-25.

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Abstract: THE last few decades have witnessed concerted efforts from countries worldwide to increase the participation of women in higher education with a specific focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The central driving factor has been that women constitute half of the world’s population; hence, this needs to be reflected in all domains, including the STEM disciplines. Another factor that has propelled this drive is that diversity will positively impact the development of these disciplines. This paper aims to investigate the determinants that motivate women scientists in India to choose the STEM disciplines to build a career. The existing literature based on data mainly from western countries highlights that there are not enough women in the STEM disciplines. The most common reason that has been cited for this problem is that there are not enough women role models that can inspire women to join the STEM disciplines. However, in India, the data suggests that the number of women in STEM disciplines at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels is equivalent to that of men. Even at the PhD level, women are not very far behind. Despite the data telling a success story, the Indian case is interesting as the ‘leaky pipeline’ does not disappear but shifts to the doctoral level, which is even more worrisome. The missing women in STEM after acquiring the highest level of training is a national loss. The increased number in enrolment of women in the STEM disciplines does not translate to the representation of women in academia or research laboratories in the industries. Women, in particular, are conspicuously nearly absent at prestigious national-level research institutes in the country.
Item Type: Journal Paper
Subjects: School of Social Sciences > Education
Divisions: Schools > Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2023 10:15
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2023 10:15
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