India-US portal launched on promoting women in science

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 10, 2012 13:00 hrs

New Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS) To attract more women to science, India and the US Monday launched here a web-portal on best practices in public and private sector and policy initiatives in the field of technology in both countries.

The portal on US and Indian cooperation on promoting women in science was launched by US Ambassador Nancy J. Powell.

Powell said the US and India had prioritised "Women in Science" as an area for bilateral engagement at the US-India Joint Commission meeting on science & technology in June.

The portal will share best practices in the US and India to enable, promote and retain women in science.

"I believe the importance of science and science education in today's world cannot be overstated. Scientific innovation offers us a chance to achieve prosperity. It has offered us benefits that have improved our health and our lives," Powell said.

Calling for gender parity in the field of science, Powell said: "The world's difficult challenges can be solved. But this will only happen when our best people -- whatever background, whatever gender -- work together with all their energy and talents focused on the key issues."

"We need to equip all our scientists and innovators with the best education and the best training that is available," she said.

The envoy also shared findings of some US studies on women in science issues highlighting that workplace climate acts as a strong factor in women's decisions to leave engineering jobs or to not enter engineering after college.

"A study by the US department of commerce reveals that in the US the percentage of females working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and Mathematics (STEM) lags far behind than that of the overall female-to-male workplace ratio," she said.

A workshop was also organised to discuss mentoring and networking opportunities for women scientists, and US-India policy-level engagement for addressing issues of women in science in both countries.

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