I cannot over-stress the importance of including all groups in the scientific enterprise, and especially women. Women have traditionally been under-represented in science, which can lead to a vicious cycle where girls do not aspire to scientific careers due to a lack of visible role models. But social science research teaches us that the most robust solutions to challenging problems arise when diverse teams work on the issue. And from a pragmatic standpoint, at a time when scientific workforce needs may outstrip the supply of well-trained individuals, we can’t afford to ignore 50% of the population. I have devoted a great part of my own career to ensuring equity and inclusion of all groups in higher education. That’s why I am so pleased to see Wiley promoting women in research through this competition.
-Kim E. Barrett,
Editor-in-Chief, The Journal of Physiology
Despite tremendous examples of significant scientific contributions by women, many women still experience barriers to entry into the field and on arrival, find both well-known and unexpected hurdles. Some have even come to believe that the research environment is not the enlightened space that they want to inhabit. To ensure that humanity’s scientific pursuits benefit from the perspectives that everyone has to offer, it is essential to provide women and girls experience in a research environment where they can invent, engineer and discover, exposing them to the satisfying, rewarding and meaningful careers in science.
President, International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society
Looking at the last results of She Figures published by the European Commission, we learn that women continue to be under represented in top academic decision making positions. In 2014, women represent less than 40% of the members of scientific and administrative boards at national level in 14 countries. Careful analysis demonstrates that at the level of graduate students there is no difference between the number of female and men graduate, but the higher up the system we go, the fewer women we found.
Why should we bother?
If we look at challenges in neuroscience for the coming decades, we see that brain disorders are and will be a major public health problem in Europe and the rest of the world, with yearly costs in Europe of about 800 billion euros. They simply need all our efforts and the efforts of every young talent to curb these numbers. It does not make sense to educate and carefully steer trainees through the system and then simply watch them drop out. We need the diversity of women and men to tackle major challenges in research.
-Monica Di Luca,
Past President, Federation of European Neuroscience Societies
Science and engineering are excellent preparation for any career pathway. STEM disciplines provide tools and the ability to break down a problem into its basic parts, isolate the “variable,” test, evaluate, iterate, validate, and extract data-driven conclusions. These are skills society needs in all strata—academia, business, K–12 education, hospitals, politics, and even the home.
-Eileen De Guire,
Director of Communications & Marketing, American Ceramics Society
As an evidence-based profession, nursing and nurse researchers are driving the continual production of new knowledge and validation of existing knowledge in order to determine the best care for our patients. As a female-dominated profession, we know of the critical importance of women’s contributions to game-changing research and practice. When women are active in science and research fields, it unlocks the agenda, ensuring women’s health is on the table. In order to reframe the study of health and disease in an inclusive, intersectional perspective of gender identity, race, disability, neurodiversity or sexuality, women must continue to take down the barriers that prevent them from getting involved.
-Frances Hughes, RN, DNurs, ONZM, FACMHN, FNZCMHN,
Chief Executive Officer of the International Council of Nurses
The evidence is clear, the more diverse a research team, the more likely the evidence can be generalized. While there are many women in educational research, the gender equity in neuroscience is lacking. A critical aspect of understanding learning is linked directly to neuroscience. Forty years ago neuroscience researchers focused primarily on male subjects, believing them to have less biological variability than females. Models were developed that only described ½ the human race. It is only as we enable more women to join research teams that inclusive models can develop.
President National Center for Higher Education Management Systems; Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Competency-Based Education
I have learned there is more than one way to tackle a problem. That is how I have approached my research and geoscience career and I am sure that is the same with many women in science. It is what women and diversity bring to research - viewpoints and ideas to tackle vexing research questions from a slightly different angle. Whether it is how to assemble your research team, work through a project from start to finish solo, or asking the research question differently; that is the beauty of science and the universe we live in viewed through a diverse lens.
Executive Director, Geological Society of America
Why do we need more women in science and research? Knowledge is power, and as it currently stands, public knowledge continues to be produced predominantly by men. But a man's world is not a woman's world, and while we co-exist in shared social spaces, our gendered experiences of those spaces are radically different. Women know the world through different bodies and respond to it in different ways.
When I began my graduate studies, one of the very first books that my (male) supervisor set me to read was '50 Key Contemporary Thinkers', published in 1994. Of the fifty 'thinkers' it reviewed, only six were women, three of whom were explicitly identified in relation to feminism. Until such time as women have the same opportunities as men to pursue research careers dedicated to 'thinking'--and not just thinking about women--we will continue to be disempowered, and the public knowledges upon which we all rely to make important decisions about our lives will remain biased towards particular perspectives that fail to do justice to the diversity of our world.
President Emeritus, Australian Anthropological Society
The research agenda for the 21st century must embrace a diversity of contributions if it is to address the future needs of society as a whole. An important part of that contribution comes from women, many of whom must strive to balance multiple priorities to pursue career, family, and personal and professional enrichment. The inclusion of women in the rich mixture of scientific research creates an environment open to others of varied ethnicity, sexuality, and racial background.
Publisher, American Psychiatric Association
While the landscape for women in science has improved substantially and there has been a focus here in Australia on getting more girls involved in STEM subjects at school, there is still a long way to go. Globally, there are many issues that affect women - gender stereotypes that often relegate women into subordinate positions, as well as social, educational and financial inequities. Education is key, but so is role modelling and leadership - which goes beyond the issue of the individual and impacts on the future of the community as a whole. We need women to feel more empowered to step into science, to take risks, to call out gender bias in research, to address the issues women face, to do this we need more women involved in research to search for solutions that impact on women across the globe.
-Kim Ryan, Adjunct Associate Professor
CEO, Australian College of Mental Health
Research in the humanities draws on centuries of ideas, endless resources, and profound wisdom. Researchers learn from the tragic failures and inspiring triumphs of real historical figures as well as important fictional characters. We explore cultures that build bridges of understanding across political divides. Research by and about women pushes the boundaries of the traditional canon in Philosophy, English, History, and Theology and challenges accepted presuppositions: it opens a future where diverse voices receive pride of place, new ideas flourish, and human relations deepen in complexity.
Editor, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy
It is frustrating that we still need to be making the case for attracting, keeping and promoting women in science. We all know how it benefits science and society to have the widest and most inclusive workforce and we must continue to make these points and challenge when needed. I am delighted that Wiley have instigated this travel grant competition for women in research and am very happy to be associated with it.
Editor-in-Chief, Physiological Reports
Executive Director/CEO, American Geophysical Union
To enter the competition
Fill out our short application form, answering the prompt below:
What challenges of inclusion do you see in the science or research community? How are you involved in efforts to improve diversity and gender equality?
Contest terms and conditions.