Education and the workforce

Although there have been great strides made in the education of women and girls worldwide, women remain underrepresented in SITE fields in many countries in both the developed and developing worlds – particularly in the physical sciences, technology and engineering – and few women are represented in SITE leadership or at policy-making levels. Even in countries where large numbers of women are educated in SITE, this often does not translate into equal numbers of women in the workforce; reasons for this “leaky pipeline” need further investigation, but a large part of the trend can be attributed to social and cultural demands on women at home, such as childcare, cooking and cleaning, combined with inflexible workplace policies and norms as well as unconscious bias in the workplace. Institutional policy reforms are recommended to help women advance at every level of SITE careers.