With the national movement to push STEM education for girls, one would think more women are pursuing scientific degrees. Yet, this does apply to neuroscience.
In Nature Neuroscience, a prominent scientific magazine, women authors make of 1/5 of the articles published. And out of the 940 peer reviewers for the journal, 83.8% were male, while only 16.2% were female in 2006.
When compared to a similar brain science, psychology, females make up the majority of the workforce. For every male psychologist, there are 2.1 female psychologists in 2013.
So, what is the gap? Why are women becoming psychologists but not neuroscientists? Is it a stigma? Social pressure?
Half of the neuroscience graduate students are women, but only 25% of tenure-track professors are women reports the Association of Neuroscience Departments and Program.
Again, what is the gap?
“When less than 50 percent of a field is made up of women, and then they are barely represented on panels, their ideas may never be heard by their colleagues,” Dr. Niv said to the New York Times.
So, that means, women neuroscientists need to be given the platform to be heard! We need more women to venture into neuroscience, be changemakers, and make massive scientific discoveries to prove to future generations women can be scientists. It starts with our generation taking the faith and courage to stand up.
In the future when I become a neuroscientist, I hope to be one more data point that proves women can be neuroscientists too…
I hope we can get to the point where an article like this does not even need to be published.