Women in Science: international and Ukrainian cases

Women in Science: international and Ukrainian cases

Just 30% of the world’s researchers are women. While a growing number of women are enrolling in university, many opt out at the highest levels required for a research career. But a closer look at the data reveals some surprising exceptions. Have a more detailed look at the situation in Ukraine and compare it with the regional and global trends, due to the Women in Science, an interactive data tool, developed by UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and presenting the latest available data for countries at all stages of development.

Women in Science, an interactive data tool, presents the latest available data for countries at all stages of development. Produced by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), the tool lets you explore and visualize gender gaps in the pipeline leading to a research career, from the decision to get a doctorate degree to the fields of research women pursue and the sectors in which they work.

International trends

Just 30% of the world’s researchers are women. While a growing number of women are enrolling in university, many opt out at the highest levels required for a research career. But a closer look at the data reveals some surprising exceptions. For example, in Bolivia, women account for 63% researchers, compared to France with a rate of 26% or Ethiopia at 8%.

In Sweden, for example, women form the majority (60%) of students enrolled in a Bachelor’s programme, but their numbers decline as they move up the education ladder, accounting for 49% of doctoral students and only 36% of researchers.  The data tool reveals this trend across every region, highlighting the conflict that many women face as they try to reconcile career ambitions with family-caring responsibilities.

Women remain under-represented in R&D in every region of the world. Just one in five countries has achieved gender parity, whereby 45% to 55% of researchers are women.

Women researchers also tend to work in the academic and government sectors, while men dominate the private sector which offers better salaries and opportunities. This is the case even in countries with high shares of women researchers. In Argentina, for example, 52% of researchers are women. However, they account for only 29% of researchers employed in the private sector.

Perhaps most importantly, the data tool shows just how important it is to encourage girls to pursue mathematics and science at a young age. In every region, women researchers remain the minority in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In the Republic of Korea, for example, only 17% of researchers are women and they account for just 9% of those working in the field of engineering and technology.

Average Regional Levels of Women Researchers' Participation in Science

ARAB STATES – 38%

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE – 40%

CENTRAL ASIA – 46%

EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC – 20%

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN – 44%

NORTH AMERICA AND WESTERN EUROPE – 32%

SOUTH AND WEST ASIA – 20%

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA – 29%

Ukraine – 46%

Women in Science in Ukraine

While more women are enrolling in university, relatively few pursue careers in research. There are many leaks in the pipeline in Ukraine – from stereotypes encountered by girls to the family-caring responsibilities and bias women may face when choosing a career.

Ukrainian women researchers tend to work in the academic and government sectors while men dominate the private research sector, which offers better salaries and opportunities for advancement.

In Ukraine as in most countries, women focus on the humanities, medical and social sciences and remain under-represented in engineering and technology. To level the playing field, girls must be encouraged to pursue math and science.

Education and research careers: leaks in the pipeline?

In Ukraine women account for 54% bachelor’s students, 60% doctoral students and in general 46% researchers. Are these figures telling about “leaks in the pipeline”?

Where do women reseachers work?

In Ukraine women in science prefer working mostly in public sector (49% of all science workers), following higher education institutions (47%) and private sector (40%)

Which fields of research do women pursue?

The most preferable fields women in Ukraine pursue their research are humanities (66%), medical science (65%), social sciences (59%) and agricultural sciences (53%)
*Disclaimer
It should be noted that this tool presents internationally comparable data produced by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. This means that the indicators can be accurately compared across countries with very different contexts for women in science. Yet, due to methodological differences, data are missing for countries such as the United States or Canada. In addition, data are also missing for some developing countries that do not have the resources to collect or report R&D data. The Institute seeks to work with all countries to improve the availability of accurate data that can be compared internationally.

 

Data extracted and the post prepared by Volodymyr Satsyk

Resources used: Women in Science

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