Researchers agree that interdisciplinary research is key to addressing the climate crisis, but this research is often underestimated and underfunded. For leading women in interdisciplinary marine sciences, this problem can be exacerbated by the discrimination and under-representation they face on the ground. In the research publication in One Land On June 7, scientists share the results of a survey delivered to 34 leading women in marine research around the world, highlighting the discrimination faced by women in science and opening pathways to increase gender equity.
The team, led by Rebecca Shelllock (@Marinebecca), a marine social scientist at Australian National University, administered his survey to female leaders of 27 nationalities. They found that 70% of respondents thought interdisciplinary marine science was more challenging for women leaders and that 60% had personally experienced gender challenges.
The survey was also an opportunity for these leaders to share their experiences. “There is still an expectation that in a meeting of senior scientists, the women present will be the best people to take the minutes,” said one interviewee.
Another leader talked about how women have a lot to offer interdisciplinary research: “I think women see the value of interdisciplinary science more easily and see more clearly that it’s actually a particular skill set: working effectively. across disciplines is a particular skill set … I don’t think it’s often recognized, or less likely to be recognized, by males.
Some respondents also see interdisciplinary science as an area of opportunity for women: “Single disciplines have been developing for centuries and are more competitive, and for women it is also more difficult for cultural reasons. Interdisciplinary science is something new and, perhaps because it is a new, more open niche, there are more opportunities for women in this niche. “
To combat these inequalities, the authors suggest that institutional encouragement, networking opportunities, and well-designed mentoring programs could help bridge the gender gap. “It is counterproductive to sustainability if women are subtly and systematically excluded from leadership opportunities, intentionally or not,” the authors write. “Interdisciplinary marine research environments must become more gender-inclusive, empowering and attractive places for female scientists and potential leaders to work in.”
The research was supported by the CPAS and the ANU Futures scheme. Some of the contributing authors are supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) via the United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Norwegian Research Council, the Romanian Ministry of Education and Research and the Union’s Horizon 2020 European Research and Innovation Program.
One Land, Shellock et al .: “Breaking down barriers: identifying actions to promote gender equality in interdisciplinary marine research institutes” https://www.cell.com/one-earth/fulltext/S2590-3322(22 ) 00261-5
One Land (@OneEarth_CP), published by Cell Press, is a monthly magazine that features articles in the fields of natural, social and applied sciences. One Earth is the home of high-quality research that seeks to understand and address today’s major environmental challenges by publishing across the spectrum of environmental change and sustainability science. A twin diary of Cell, Chem and Joule, One Earth aspires to break down the barriers between disciplines and stimulate the cross-pollination of ideas with a platform that unites communities, fosters dialogue and encourages transformative research. Visit http://www.cell.com/one-earth. To receive Cell Press multimedia alerts, please contact [email protected]
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Breaking down barriers: identifying actions to promote gender equality in interdisciplinary marine research institutes
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