Researchers agree that interdisciplinary research is essential to addressing the climate crisis, but such research is often under-recognized and under-funded. For women leaders in interdisciplinary marine science, this problem can be exacerbated by the discrimination and underrepresentation they face in the field. In the research publication in A land on June 7, scientists share the results of a survey of 34 female leaders in marine research around the world, highlighting the discrimination women face in science and suggesting ways to increase the gender equity.
The team, led by Rebecca Shellock (@Marinebecca), a marine social scientist at the Australian National University, administered her survey to women leaders representing 27 nationalities. They found that 70% of respondents thought interdisciplinary marine science was more difficult for female leaders and 60% had personally encountered gender-related issues.
The survey was also an opportunity for these leaders to share their experiences. “It’s always expected that at a meeting of senior scientists, all the women present will be in the best position to take the minutes,” said one interviewee.
Another leader explained how much women have to offer interdisciplinary research: “I think women see more easily the value of interdisciplinary science, and they see more clearly that it’s actually a particular skill set – to work effectively in all disciplines is a particular skill set… I don’t think this is often recognized or less likely to be recognized by men.
Some interviewees also see interdisciplinary science as an area of opportunity for women: “Mono-disciplines have developed over centuries and are more competitive, and for women it is more difficult also for cultural reasons. Interdisciplinary science is something newer, and perhaps because it’s 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 mentorship programs could help close the gender gap. “It is counterproductive to sustainability if women are subtly and systematically excluded from leadership opportunities, whether intentionally or unintentionally,” the authors write. “Interdisciplinary marine research environments must become more inclusive, empowering and attractive workplaces for female scientists and potential leaders.”
The research was supported by the CPAS and the ANU Futures programme. Some of the authors who contributed to this work are supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) through the United Kingdom for Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Research Council of Norway, the Romanian Ministry of Education and Research and Horizon 2020 of the European Union. Research and innovation program.
A land, Shellock et al. : “Breaking Down Barriers: Identifying Actions to Promote Gender Equality in Interdisciplinary Marine Research Institutions” https://www.cell.com/one-earth/fulltext/S2590-3322(22 )00261-5
A land (@OneEarth_CP), published by Cell Press, is a monthly journal that features articles in the fields of natural, social and applied sciences. One Earth is home to high-quality research that seeks to understand and address today’s major environmental challenges, publishing across the spectrum of environmental change and sustainability science. A sister journal to Cell, Chem and Joule, One Earth aspires to break down 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 media alerts, contact [email protected]
The title of the article
Breaking Down Barriers: Identifying Actions to Promote Gender Equality in Interdisciplinary Marine Research Institutions
Publication date of articles
June 7, 2022
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of press releases posted on EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.