Ujjain: Gender lens is essential for science, technology and innovation policy as gender imbalance exists in three out of four countries. The blend of genders in science is similar to the power of Ardhnareeshwar and participation of women in science can increase their creative contribution to the society.
These were the words of Dr Uma Sharma, professor, Supramolecular Lab, School of Studies in Chemistry, Vikram University, who was addressing the international webinar on ‘Enabling Gender Diversity in Science’. It was organised by Internal Quality Assurance Cell of Government Girls’ Post-Graduate College in collaboration with Association of Chemistry Teachers, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (TIFR), Mumbai. The event was organised under the Global Women’s Breakfast 2021.
The second speaker Dr Rosalie Hocking, senior lecturer and deputy department, Chair Chemistry and Biotechnology, University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia shared the details of gender landscape in the ecosystem of science in Australia. She said that the challenges for women are similar across the borders but with passage of time the value of diversity is being appreciated in Australia. Measures like Swinburne Women’s Academic Network to assist women at any stage of academic career are bringing about the change. Dr Rosalie opined that life is a marathon and not a sprinter where everything has not to be done at once. So assessment of participation and success of women in science needs to be less individualistic and more team driven.
The third invited speaker Dr Archana Singh, associate professor (AcSIR) and senior scientist CSIR, AMPRI, Bhopal and Alexander Von Humboldt Fellow through sharing her career and research work inspired the young female students in science to take up career paths in science stream. She said that Anandi Gopal Joshi, the first physician can be a role model and so also Kamala Sohonie, the first Indian female to get a doctorate degree by crossing all the hurdles in age old times and submitting an excellent 40 page thesis to Cambridge University within 14 months.
In her presidential address principal Dr Anita Manchandia remarked that science, technology and innovation culture should be inculcated in a gender neutral way since early childhood so that participation and leadership of women in STI become a norm and not an exception. Dr Brijesh Pare, president ACT shared the GWB power point presentation. Dr Neeta Tapan, convener of the webinar, gave the thematic introduction. Dr Samina Qureshi and Dr GD Agrawal coordinated the sessions. Technical support was given by Vivek Dubey. Dr Rashmi Bharagva conducted the event and Dr Hemant Gahlot extended a vote of thanks.