Gender Equity in Science: The Global Context

Sandra L. Hanson, Mary Sykes, Luis Berneth Pena


This paper explores gender equity in science education and occupations in a global context. Research on the development of all science talent is critical given the importance of diversity for science and the increased demand for well-trained technical workers, scientists, and engineers. Although women are under-represented in most science systems around the world, some countries have been more successful in creating gender equity than others. We use cross-national data from multiple sources to examine gender equity in science at various points in the science pipeline. We also focus on patterns of equity in science across diverse political and socio-economic settings. Findings show gender inequity in science education and (especially) occupations worldwide. Countries where women are doing the best on early science indicators do not tend to include the United States and Scandinavian countries. They also are not limited to countries with higher GNP per capita or higher percent women in Parliament.  GNP and percent women in Parliament are better predictors of gender access later in the pipeline. Given these geographic patterns, we provide recommendations and a sample map for using a spatial approach to examining gender equity in science in a global context.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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