I am constantly searching for PhD openings and tenure track positions (to make sure it is still possible to get jobs in academia). Recently, I came across 1 PhD position and 1 tenure track position in civil engineering. They both were from best universities in one of the most developed countries. At the end of job description, they added a small note “we encourage women to apply”. This sentence really broke my heart. I always thought those countries had gender equality for decades and now why add such a note? If someone is qualified, or almost qualified for the job, they would apply no matter of race, gender etc.
On the other side that sentence really made me think deep. Growing as a young researcher I see myself very well developed in some skills than many of my men competitors. I never ever had fear of applying to a job, scholarship or whatever it is because I am woman even though I come from a country where man is a little more dominant than woman. But is there really woman out there who does not apply for a position they are qualified for? If this is the really case then the problem we are having is way bigger than gender equality.
My understanding of lack of woman in STEM or any other field was number of women who qualified was very limited for jobs, so I thought we needed to raise more educated woman so they can show up man dominated work places, industries.
I will keeping following this topic to what actually the problem is. At my full time job, my manager is a man and I have 3 women and 3 men working with me. On my research project, however, I am working with 4 man professors. It is more tragic in academia than industry jobs if my small experience can be referenced. So how to solve this? How can we encourage woman to pursue higher degrees and stay in academia?