First, the good news: In 2020, three of the ten Nobel Laureates in STEM disciplines were women. Dr. Andrea Ghez shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, and Drs. Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing the groundbreaking CRISPR method for genome editing.
Global recognition for these landmark achievements is richly deserved and a sign of progress in honoring the contributions of the women who work in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. But while the prestigious honors track with the current levels of women scientists who hold research positions in those fields, they also point to a disturbing discrepancy: 50% of STEM degrees are awarded to women, but only 28% of STEM occupations are held by women.
Exploring ways to overcome the factors and biases that limit women from advancing equitably in science-based professions is the subject of the Bruce Presents webinar, Women in Contemporary Science: How to STEM the Leaky Pipeline, on April 8, 2021, 7:00 – 8:30 pm via Zoom. Lending their insight and expertise to this important conversation is a multidisciplinary panel of seven women researchers, scientists, and executives from around the world:
Dr. Tarika Barrett, Incoming CEO and current COO, Girls Who Code
Dr. Catherine Early, Curator of Ornithology and the Barbara Brown Chair
of the Biology Department at the Science Museum of Minnesota
Adania Flemming, Researcher and PhD Student, University of Florida
Dr. Tara McAllister, Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Auckland
Dr. Jennifer Rosati, Professor of Forensic Entomology, John Jay College, CUNY
Rachelle Saunders, Producer, “Science for the People” podcast
Dr. Jessica Ware, Associate Curator, American Museum of Natural History; Principal Investigator, Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics; Associate Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School
The moderator of this conversation is Kate Dzikiewicz, Bruce Museum Science Curatorial Associate and curator of the upcoming science exhibition, The Amazon Rainforest: Beauty • Destruction • Hope. A Q&A session led by Bruce Presents Co-Producer Leonard Jacobs will follow the discussion.
Admission to the webinar on April 8 is free for Museum members and $20 for non-members; students receive a 20% discount. To register, visit the Reservations page at brucemuseum.org or call 203-869-0376, ext. 311. Support for Bruce Presents programs is generously provided by Berkley One, a Berkley Company, Connecticut Office of the Arts, and Northern Trust.
“Though progress has certainly been made, there still are many challenges that face women in STEM,” says Kate Dzikiewicz. “These issues range from the obvious, such as discrimination and harassment, to the more subtle and insidious, like achieving work/life balance, and the lack of encouragement and role models in younger years. Now, women are dropping out of the workforce in record numbers as childcare facilities and schools remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These are issues that won’t go away by ignoring them, and challenges that the scientific community will have to work together to overcome.”