Women scientists are less credited

As per a recent study, it has been observed that women scientists are less credited than men. The reason could be due to (1) a less welcoming environment, (2) more family responsibility, (3) fewer research positions, (4) research work undervalued, and (5) less recognition received by women scientists. All the above reasons cited are well documented in the literature and supported by the data. The question here is why we have these differences in scientific innovations. In addition, what to do to reduce these differences? Let us look into these factors to understand the issues and their probable solutions to overcome the gap.

1. Women scientists are less productive in science

This point is contradictory in the literature and invalid throughout the research teams. As per the literature, women scientists are less productive in science than men. The possible reasons are a less welcoming environment and more family responsibilities. However, a recent study suggests higher productivity of female researchers than male researchers. As per the recent data, women, and men scientists publish 1.33 and 1.32 research articles per year, respectively. So the question of having less productivity in women’s research is not statistically valid. At the same time, we should note that the average man’s career in research is longer than a woman’s. This is because some women researchers leave their careers early due to family responsibilities. Therefore, the overall number of papers and patents published by male researchers is more than that of women researchers.

2. Recognition of women’s contributions

The research published in Nature suggested that women’s contributions to research are not well recognized and acknowledged. As per the report, some of the women researchers have not been included in the authorship of the papers published by their teams. The results are dreadful for the future of research and scientific communities should take care on an urgent basis. In addition, funding avenues should consider the equity gap between male and female scientists and provide research funds accordingly.

3. Research collaborations

International research collaborations are crucial for research outcomes and the globalization of technologies. Globally, male researchers have more research collaboration than women, despite women being more agreeable and multitasking than men. The observed gap is throughout the research areas. As per Dag et.al, 2019, female and male researchers have 32% and 37% of publications with international collaborations, respectively. This might be one of the factors why women scientists are less credited than men. The possible reasons are a shorter time for building networks with women than men due to more family responsibilities and differences in socialization in scientific communities.

4. Performance and career

Men researchers have more careers after a Ph.D. than women. As per the analysis by Peter and Ulf, 2015, male researchers have achieved better careers than women with similar research efforts. This is possibly due to biased organizational procedures adopted for recruitment. Ensuring gender equity in academic recruitment is crucial for closing the observed gender gap. In addition, self-selection of career opportunities might be another reason for the differences. Since men often search for more jobs than women for better money and growth even after having a job.

5. Trend of research contribution

The role of women is rapidly changing in society due to multiple gender equity initiatives taken around the world. This also changes the scenarios of gender differences in research contributions. Now the contributions of women’s research are rapidly increasing throughout the research areas. This is a good indicator for future research.

Based on the above discussion, the conclusion is that the gap observed between scientists of all genders in scientific contribution is marginal and dynamic. I strongly believe that within the next 10 years, we will not find any gender gap in the research and their career. 

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