The Dean of the Faculty of Civil, Environmental and Earth Sciences (FTSLK), Dr. IDAA Warmadewanthi ST as a speaker of Women in STEM (WISE) by International Office (IO) ITS
ITS Campus, ITS News – Globally, only three out of ten researchers work in the industries of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) which are women. Although at undergraduate level the percentage of women inside STEM is 50 percent, the rate has gradually declined to 30 percent at master degree and 18 percent at doctorate degree. Low interest of women in the STEM field phenomenon was responded swiftly by the Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) through a series of Women in STEM (WISE) events, Wednesday (6/2).
At sub-program in the form of a discussion panel which only opened to 200 people, ITS brought in three great women who had major contributions in their fields. With the theme of The Rise of Women is The Rise of Nation, WISE aims to open the horizons of women, especially students, on the issue of gender inequality. Which is the issue often and still being debated especially in the STEM field.
Through this seminar, ITS was tasked to equip students with skills to deal with various challenges. Besides that, it’s also to empower them as agents of change. “This is to assert that women have equal opportunities to men in building careers in any field without having to face gender discrimination,” said Director of International Relations, Dr. Maria Anityasari ST ME.
The seminar itself began with exposure to data and facts about the evolution of opportunities and challenges for women in STEM by the Dean of the Faculty of Civil, Environmental and Earth Sciences (FTSLK), Dr. IDAA Warmadewanthi ST. She explained that the low participation level of female workers in the technical field was mainly due to gender bias within the scope of STEM. “Because there are still those who argue that the field is intended for men and women do not have the same capability to pursue it,” she said.
This is aggravated by the lack of women representation in STEM field to become role models. The education system, she continued, also adds to this STEM bias problem. For example, in high school, we are only taught by inventors who are actually men like, Einstein, Newton, Edison, and others. “However, it is very minimal to learn about female inventors such as Marie Curie, Dorothy Hodgkin, Elizabeth Blackburn, and others who are no less important to the world of science,” explained the lecturer in Environmental Engineering.
According to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), based on gender comparison, the participation level of female workers available in the domestic labor market is around 55 percent, which is lower than men (83.19 percent). Especially for jobs in the STEM industry, there are only around 30 percent of female workers.
However, even though the percentage of women workers in the STEM industry is classified as small, according to UNESCO, this figure is 23 percent higher than the Southeast Asian countries average. This ranking places Indonesia at the forefront ratio of female to male workers in the STEM industry. “This is positive news because it means the opportunity to increase female workers in STEM is still wide open,” she concluded. (mia / owi)
WISE participant expressed their opinions about the purpose of their lives in the STEM field
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