Why are young girls interested in toy cars and airplanes asked to play with dolls or organize tea parties with teddy bears? Why women who wish to perform experiments in the laboratory end up experimenting in the kitchen? When a woman can smoothly run a household and manage the budget, then why is her caliber towards research and management questioned? Why are women curtailed from achieving a career of their choice, giving a disappointing reply of being a woman?
Time and again, women have confronted issues obstructing their growth. Career was a shy away word for most women all over the globe until a few of them started breaking the stereotypes! Most developed nations have finally become more aware of dealing with gender inequality in scientific community. Some nations are moving towards progressive thinking and gender equality. However, other nations are still struggling to accept the fact that women can have professional careers and excel at it; including the field of research!
In its Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United Nations states that –
Science and gender equality are essential for worldwide development. However, many developing nations show a significant gender gap at all levels of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) discipline.
Involvement of Women in STEM Fields
It dates back to the 20th century when most men went to wars and women got involved in the industrial revolution. Gradually, women became noteworthy pioneers in the STEM industry and excelled at medicine, biology, chemistry, computers, and engineering. However, even after many decades of progress women have made up very less work force in the field of STEM research and many young girls are struggling to be a part of the STEM industry. Thus, schools, universities, and organizations take effort in encouraging women to pursue careers in STEM. Scholarships for women are sanctioned all across the globe to cater to the needs of women showcasing their interest in the field of science.
Young intelligent girls may be under-represented because of cultural barriers and stereotypical gender roles. To encourage these girls who are keen to pursue education, many schools and universities offer scholarships. Furthermore, some countries are still battling over social issues like gender discrimination. This hinders the growth of women interested in pursuing higher studies and research. In such scenarios, information on women scholarship schemes help address the social issues and allow women to take initiative towards their ambitions in the field of research.
Global Scholarships for Women in STEM Fields
The Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) Fellowships Program
GWIS scholarship encourages science research careers for women. It awards women who hold degrees from recognized institution of higher learning and show an outstanding ability and promise in research. Furthermore, it promotes women who pursue career in natural sciences and show tremendous interest and inclination towards hypothesis-driven research work.
Host Nationality: USA
Eligibility: All women scientists conducting scientific research, regardless of their nationality, are eligible for the GWIS scholarships.
Fellowship Amount: The amount varies from year to year. However, researchers can get a maximum of USD 10,000.
Amelia Earheart Fellowship by Zonta International
The Amelia Earheart Fellowship by Zonta International scholarship encourages women who pursue a career in aerospace engineering and related fields. Women make up to 25% of the work force in aerospace domain. This scholarship was created in an attempt to let women have access to all resources and be a part of decision-making positions.
Eligibility: Women of any nationality pursuing a Ph.D./doctoral degree in aerospace-related sciences or aerospace-related engineering, are encouraged to apply.
Fellowship Amount: Annually, up to 35 women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering and space sciences get fellowship of USD 10,000.
Women Techmakers Scholars Program
Formally known as Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Program, Google aims to achieve gender equality in the field of computer science. This scholarship consists of elements like an academic scholarship, an opportunity to participate in professional and personal development trainings and workshops by Google.
Eligibility: International Female students with an excellent academic record and must be Computer Science, Computer engineering or any technical program. Additionally, the requirements are based on applicant’s home country.
Scholarship Amount: Maximum scholarship per student is USD 1000 covering the tuition & fee.
Girls in STEM (GIS) Scholarship Award
Students enrolled in STEM related undergraduate programs at an accredited university can get the GIS scholarship awards. The goal of this scholarship award is to increase access and participation of women in STEM projects, areas of study, and professions. They aim to encourage the next generation of women and future STEM professionals to reach their academic goals.
Host Nationality: USA
Eligibility: Female students enrolled in STEM-related undergraduate program in the US.
Scholarship Amount: Annually, students are get USD 500.
British Council Scholarship for Women
This scholarship program aims to create opportunities in STEM for girls and women. The British Council has launched scholarship programs in partnership with 26 UK universities. Their aim is to benefit women from America, South Asia, South East Asia, Egypt, Turkey and, Ukraine.
Eligibility: Female students who have taken up course study in the UK. Furthermore, their eligibility criteria details are mentioned on the site.
Scholarship Amount: A specific amount is not mentioned, but the benefits include tuition fees, stipend, travel costs, visa, and health coverage fees.
The Science Ambassador Scholarship
This is a full-tuition scholarship for women studying science, technology, engineering, or math funded by Cards Against Humanity. The applicant needs to record a three-minute video on a STEM topic that the applicant is passionate about.
Eligibility: Female high school senior or college undergraduate.
Scholarship Amount: Includes full tuition fees.
MPower Women in STEM Scholarship
This scholarship program focuses on women who use their STEM degree to benefit society. MPOWER awards annual scholarships to female international/DACA students.
Eligibility: Female international student accepted or enrolled in a full-time degree program that MPOWER supports in USA or Canada.
Scholarship Amount: MPOWER awards grand prize (USD 6000), Runner-up prize (USD 2000), and honorable mention (USD 1000).
Finally, after enhancing and popularizing need for involvement of women in STEM fields, there are studies proving the number of women constituting to first authorship rising. A study conducted from 2007 to 2018, shows a trend wherein women constituted to 59% overall authorship and 34% first authorship in top publications like Sage Publishers, Springer/Nature, and Elsevier. Although women constitute to 60% of first authors in STEM literature, the drop is significant in status of women for senior authors, which is only 38% .
However, social sciences caters to most publications and leading conversations about women in STEM fields and not in natural sciences, technology, engineering, or mathematics. This creates a belief that women in STEM fields are facing barriers and obstruction in classrooms and labs. The journey to make women feel inclusive in STEM community is completed. However, the need of gender equity for publishing in STEM is yet to be accomplished!
Women in STEM fields are achieving newer heights of success and making significant contributions to the scholarly publishing domain. Know what STEM research has to offer women and don’t lose the opportunity to create your impact! Do write to us if you have any ideas on improving the role of women in STEM fields and how can we encourage their equal participation.