women-in-science

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Shattering Stereotypes: The Resilient Spirit of Women in Tech and Science

A woman in lab coat stands resolute, with a circuit board, against a backdrop of skeptical male colleagues.
Kaia Thonul, Friday, October 13, 2023, 14:37

As the day gives into evening, I'm sitting on the train observing the melancholy rhythm of Raindrops create intricate patterns on my window. Blurring the vistas of the Norwegian countryside, they paint a somber canvas of shadows, reflected in my current state of contemplation. The landscape of tech and science fields are much like these fleeting drops of rain, beautifully complex yet, confined by a subtle undercurrent of adversity, particularly for women. Today, I delve into this, like the metaphorical rain seeping through the hardened surface beneath.

One cannot deny the advance of women in the arenas of tech or science however, there's an undeniable disparity between participation and recognition between genders. Women are often treated as underdogs, relegated to the outskirts in important decision-making processes and not expected to display significant dominance in tech leadership. Meritocracy is a beautiful concept, however, when marred by gender bias it creates a bleak spectrum of opportunities.

Secondly, the prevalent culture of many tech firms often makes it increasingly difficult for women to navigate professional landscapes. It's much like being a lone, wind-buffeted tree in the middle of a desolate plain, always at the mercy of storms they did not create. The chronic issue of sexual harassment is the rotten fruit of this cultural tree, a silent poison that gnaws away at the potential of many brilliant minds.

However, the most profound challenge is perhaps the prevalent stereotypes tied to these fields. I cannot explain how disheartening it is to hear phrases such as 'it's a man's job' or 'women aren’t as good with technology.' These preconceived misconceptions put women on the back foot and create a viscous cycle of self-doubt and underrepresentation.

Ironically, as I read an article about political stratagems employed by Hamas to deflect invasion, I find certain parallels. The article talks about this group, conventionally inferior yet not one to relent. This group, against all odds, has managed to prepare and guard stances using unconventional strategies. And isn't that what we, as women in science or tech fields endeavour to do? To break these conventional norms and bring forth a revolution of sorts, till we are no longer seen as the 'inferior' workforce, but as equal contributors.

The fight is not only towards achieving gender equality but to change the perception of women in these fields. It's a revolution under the banner of capability, not gender. And just like the sky won't stop raining because it's too full, we won't stop till every girl finds the science pen in her hand as comfortable as her favorite lipstick or the code on her screen as enthralling as a captivating novel.

As I pen down these thoughts, the desolate landscape outside mirrors my heart. But, each raindrop marks a new pearl of hope, each resilient tree reflecting the unfaltering spirit of women in tech and science. They say the greatest revolutions rise from the most desolate silences. Maybe, this is our time. For now, rain keeps falling and my train keeps chugging along, taking me home and into tomorrow.

Tags: women in science women in tech gender equality gender bias in STEM

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