Jun 27, 2018

Global Survey examines gender gap

The International Council for Science (ICSU) is partnering with 11 scientific groups, including the International Mathematical Union (IMU) and the International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM), to examine and reduce the gap between men and women in mathematical, computing, and natural sciences.

A crucial component of this Gender Gap in Mathematical, Computing, and Natural Sciences project is the compilation of self-reported data from scientists via a global, multilingual, and multidisciplinary survey. The goal is to study social dynamics in the fields of physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology, computer science, and mathematics by asking a large number of scientists and practitioners about their experiences, challenges, and interests, as well as focused information about women in these fields. The analysis of the compiled data will allow comparisons across regions, countries, disciplines, level of development of the country, sector of employment, and age. The insights obtained from this survey will help inform interventions by ICSU and member unions to increase participation in STEM fields, especially for women.

The survey is now open to respondents from all over the world. It is available in English, French, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic. If you have studied or worked in mathematical, computing or natural sciences, or in the history and philosophy of science and technology, we encourage you to visit the link below to complete the survey and to share this information with your colleagues.

2018 Global Survey of Mathematical, Computing, and Natural Scientists

Participation will be open until October 31st, 2018.

The project consists of three tasks: Task 1 is the Joint Global Survey; Task 2 is a data-backed study on publications; and Task 3 is a database of good practice. The first two tasks will provide data on which to base conclusions, to direct actions to attract and retain women in science, and to develop and evaluate practical recommendations. Task 3 will collect information on effective practices.

As described on the Gender Gap project homepage (https://icsugendergapinscience.org), “Currently, existing data on participation of women in the mathematical and natural sciences is scattered, outdated, and inconsistent across regions and research fields. The project will provide evidence to support the making of informed decisions on science policy. Temporal trends will be included, as the situation of women in science is constantly evolving, sometimes with some negative developments. Data will be collected via both a joint global survey and a bibliographic study of publication patterns. The survey is planned to reach 45,000 respondents in more than 130 countries using at least 10 languages, while the study of publication patterns will analyze comprehensive metadata sources corresponding to publications of more than 500,000 scientists since 1970. Contrasts and common ground across regions and cultures, less developed and highly developed countries, men and women, mathematical and natural sciences, will be highlighted.”

The Global Survey can be accessed at

The data is being collected by the Statistical Research Center of the American Institute of Physics.

IMS is a member of ICIAM. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) is the U.S. member to ICSU and many of the international scientific unions that are participating in this project.

Please share information about this survey with your colleagues and encourage them to participate. Thanks very much.

You can find GenderGapInScience on Twitter @GenderGapSTEM


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