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  • 08 September, 2022

  • 6 Min Read

Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology

Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology

Image Source - Gktoday

Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WEST), a new I-STEM (Indian Science Technology and Engineering facilities Map) project, was just introduced.

Major Points

  • Women's Empowerment: The WEST initiative will support women with STEM backgrounds and give them the tools they need to participate in the ecosystem of science, technology, and innovation.
  • Offering a separate platform to women who are scientifically inclined: Through the WEST initiative, I-STEM will offer a separate platform to women who are scientifically inclined and wish to pursue careers as researchers, scientists, or technologists in cutting-edge fields of science and engineering.
  • Skill Development: The WEST initiative's skill development programs will train women with expertise in science and technology to brush up on their skills and work "in the field" as lab technicians and maintenance engineers, filling critical gaps in the nation's R&D infrastructure.
  • Opportunities: Women can join the WEST program and investigate ways to get involved in many fields while pursuing jobs in R&D at different levels, including those of technicians, technologists, scientists, and entrepreneurs.
  • Opportunities include designing and manufacturing scientific apparatus as well as operating and maintaining it.
  • Through the I-STEM platform, women can start their own businesses and work as consultants for the upkeep and operation of expensive equipment and devices.
  • A Committed Team: The WEST initiative will be successfully implemented thanks to a committed group of women.
  • Strong Network of Support: Women in S&T will have strong support networks thanks to the access to R&D facilities and R&D software platforms (COMSOL, MATLAB, LABVIEW, AUTOCAD) made possible through the I-STEM portal.

Relevance to WEST

  • In order to address the historical underrepresentation of women in these disciplines, the skilled female labour force of the nation will be fully used.
  • Bridging the Skill Gap: This would go a long way toward closing the "skills gap" and maximising the usage of equipment purchased with public funds.
  • Women Returning to S&T Fields: This project will assist women who have taken a career hiatus in returning to S&T fields. The current assistance that I-STEM offers to female entrepreneurs starting S&T businesses will be improved as a result of the WEST initiative.
  • Reducing the Gender Salary Gap: Women would benefit from equal opportunities not only in terms of the profession's gender wage gap but also in terms of their own financial security and well-being.

About Indian Science, Technology and Engineering facilities Map (I-STEM)

  • A dynamic and interactive national platform called I-STEM is home to a number of scientific activities.
  • The office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India, was the one that started it.
  • It serves as the umbrella organisation for numerous initiatives encouraging R&D and technology innovation partnerships within and between universities and industries, particularly startups.
  • I-STEM will give female researchers a place to discuss their findings, problems, and strategies for moving the nation forward through innovation, science, and technology.
  • Additionally, through the I-STEM WhatsApp and Telegram platforms, a digital consortium called "Connect Quickly" for online conversation and immediate help has also been developed.

Way Forward

  • Strategies aimed at educating and retaining women in engineering, scientific, and technology (WEST) disciplines must be supported given the significance of technology in future growth and innovation.
  • It is vital that more women participate in I-STEM.
  • By gathering input and putting plans in action to broaden the engagement of women in WEST and I-STEM, I-STEM needs to keep track of the impact of the program.

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