Gender balance in STEM an issue of concern

Published Thu, Mar 7, 2019 · 09:50 PM
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DISRUPTIVE technologies are challenging entrenched notions of work, reinventing jobs and creating opportunities and demands for new skills. Will this change create a gender-balanced workplace or could more formidable barriers emerge? The call-to-action for this year's International Women's Day (IWD 2019) is to push for a gender-balanced workplace, hence its theme #BalanceForBetter.

To begin with, a digital gender gap already exists. The speed of digital disruption, coupled with unequal access to digital technologies, has led to more women being digitally excluded from work and economic opportunities.

With technology being the major force shaping the future economy, skills and jobs related to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are increasingly valuable and in high demand. In this light, the gender imbalance in STEM talents today across the world is concerning. The 2015 UNESCO report, "A Complex Formula: Girls and Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Asia", notes that even in developed countries like Singapore, women make up just 30 per cent of researchers in science, technology and innovation.

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