A Clarion Call To Women Scientists To Share Their Stories

Dr. Debalina Dutta of the National University of Singapore is undertaking an ambitious project to study the careers of 100 women scientists in Singapore.

AsianScientist (Jul. 1, 2015) – Are women scientists discriminated in the workplace? Are there successful women scientists whose stories are waiting to be told?

Studying the role of gender in science is the mission of Dr. Debalina Dutta, visiting fellow at the Department of Communications and New Media of the National University of Singapore.

When it comes to the topic of women in science, history throws up no surprises. Women have long been underrepresented in the upper echelons of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) – so far, only five percent of all Nobel prizes have ever been awarded to a woman.

Closer to home, the National Survey of R&D in Singapore 2012 published by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research noted that a mere 28 percent of research scientists and engineers in 2012 were women.

Dutta hopes to change this age-old narrative by highlighting the success stories of women scientists in Singapore, and to do so, she is appealing to women scientists to respond to a survey she is conducting.

“We are aware that women face structural and cultural barriers while opting for STEM careers. We find very few girls motivated to pursue STEM careers. We cannot afford to overlook this underutilization of human resources in our nation building endeavor. Rather, it is time we take this issue very seriously,” Dutta told Asian Scientist Magazine.

Importantly, Dutta wants to find out what motivates women to pursue careers that are traditionally considered to be masculine. She also intends to study how they communicate and negotiate in the workplace, and especially how they interact with male colleagues.

Dutta is looking to interview women scientists and engineers with undergraduate or graduate degrees, and who are currently employed. She has already interviewed 30 women for the 100 case studies she hopes to complete by end-August.

Any women scientists or engineers keen to share their stories can contact Dutta via email at [email protected] to arrange for a 20- to 60-minute phone interview. She says that all interviews will be kept confidential and no personal identifiers will be collected to protect the identity of participants.

[Disclaimer: Asian Scientist Magazine will not be held responsible for any breach of confidentiality as a result of the interviews conducted.]


Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: Shutterstock.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Ying Ying completed her PhD in neurobiology at the University of Basel, where she studied the role of bone morphogenetic protein in structural plasticity of neurons.

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