International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Call for Papers | Fully Refereed | Open Access | Double Blind Peer Reviewed

ISSN: 2319-7064

Downloads: 106 | Views: 212

Research Paper | Education Management | Nigeria | Volume 5 Issue 4, April 2016

Early-Career Women Scientists? Perception of the Challenges of Gender Inequality and Retention in Science and Technology

Osuafor Abigail M. | Okafor-Agbala | Chimuanya A.

Abstract: Two important gender issues in science, technology and mathematics (STM) education are issues of participation and retention of girls/early-career women scientists in science and science-based careers. Studies show that women are under-represented in all occupations dealing with STEM all over the world. This study therefore aims at finding out the early career women scientists perception of the factors affecting girls/women participation in Science and Technology as well as determine the strategies they think could be adopted to increase their participation and retention in those areas. Two research questions guided the conduct of the study. A sample of 220 early-career female scientists from four universities in the South East Nigeria participated in the survey. A 17-item questionnaire was used to collect data from the respondents. The data were analyzed using mean and standard deviation. Prominent among the factors affecting female participation and retention in science-based careers are perceived difficult nature of science and technology courses and lack of interest in science and technology careers. The strategies to improve the situation include among others that successful women in the field should be made feasible to the young ones and interact with them, female scientist students should be exposed to the benefits of science careers early enough, teachers should avoid criticisms/comments that could deter girls. The study concludes that some of the challenges could be eliminated if the successful female scientists and technologists could serve as role models to the young ones by making themselves feasible to them and interact with them.

Keywords: Early-career women scientists, gender inequality, retention

Edition: Volume 5 Issue 4, April 2016,

Pages: 2465 - 2468

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