This week the Nobel Prizes were awarded in Sweden. As a female scientist it was especially exciting for me to see two women receiving the awards in Physics and Chemistry, because throughout history, there have only been a few times when our multiple contributions to sciences have been recognized at that high level.
Despite the fact that women represent 45% of the global workforce, we only receive 35% of university degrees in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and there are even fewer of us (28%) working as researchers. This creates a significan bias in the topics that are investigated and reduces the points of view that are incorporated into the solutions.
Studies indicate that one of the factors that determines this lack of participation, is the way in which girls are socialized to believe that STEM topics are "masculine" and that their capacity is lower than that of men (though this has been debunked by biological studies). However, those beliefs take a high toll, undermining their confidence, interest and willingness to get involved in science.
In order to contribute to the solution, one of the objectives of our expedition to Antarctica is precisely to elevate the visibility of women scientists. If it is true what they say that "seeing is believing", we want the world to stare in amazement at this group of 85 scientists exploring and collaborating, so that girls grow up knowing that they can also be (and we need them to!) part of the scientific community ! If you know any girls with a curiosity for science, please invite her to follow our adventure here!