According to UNESCO, less than 30 per cent of scientific and technological researchers are women.
This International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Griffith Library is celebrating our history of fostering female representation in science and technology while looking at how we can create an inclusive and sustainable research hub for women in STEM.
A step through time
In 1978, Debra Cunningham was not only Griffith’s first science graduate – she was also the first recipient of an undergraduate degree!
In the 1980s, Griffith promoted science within South-East Queensland high schools. These girls from Ipswich High School are participating in a biomedical experiment.
In 1999, Marina Perry was awarded an Aviation Studies award.
That’s RAD! Science – a Griffith-led initiative.
That’s RAD! Science is a children’s book series that promotes STEM careers for children, particularly young girls.
Titles from the series include:
- My mum is a parasite scientist. That’s RAD! (2017)
- Our mum is a nanotech scientist. That’s RAD! (2018)
- Our mum is a forensic scientist. That’s RAD! (2018)
- My aunt is a protein crystal scientist. That’s RAD! (2019)
Researching gender inequality
In recent years, Griffith researchers have provided keen insights into gender inequality within STEM and possible ways to balance the gender gap. Some key areas of research include:
- Directions for research on gender imbalance in the IT profession (2019)
- Engaging rural Australian communities in national science week helps increase visibility for women researchers (2017)
- Gender Differences in Spatial Ability: Implications for STEM Education and Approaches to Reducing the Gender Gap for Parents and Educators (2016)
- Girls and computing: Female participation in computing in schools (2015)
- An overview of an ethnographic-case study of female students in senior technology education classes in Queensland (2013)
Where do we go from here?
Recently, in 2019, Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies and Griffith University collaborated on a pilot study into female retention in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, manufacturing and design programs.
As we enter 2020 with bright eyes, Griffith continues to look toward the future to consider how we can encourage and foster female-led research within our libraries.