Mathematical and natural sciences have long and honorable traditions of participation by highly creative women contributors. However, the percentages of women scientists remain shockingly low and there is a significant gender gap at all levels between women and men. Barriers to achievement by women persist, especially in developing countries.
The project “A Global Approach to the Gender Gap in Mathematical and Natural Sciences: How to Measure It, How to Reduce It?” will produce sound data to support the choices of interventions that ICSU and member unions can feasibly undertake. It will provide evidence for informed decisions, including trends – since the situation for women continues to change around the world, with some negative developments – and will provide easy access to materials proven to be useful in encouraging girls and young women to study and work in these fields. Regional information about careers, jobs and salaries will be provided. The joint global survey is planned to reach 45,000 respondents in more than 130 countries using at least 10 languages, while the joint study on 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.