Research on gender in STI continues to show that there are fewer women faculty in STEM at higher education and research institutions. A number of reasons for this have been put forward including limited professional development opportunities provided to early career female researchers, limited institutional support for work-life balance targeted to families in science; and discriminatory practices in hiring, promotion and retention. There are a number of active programmes, globally that have been successful in contributing to turning the tide, and supporting early career researchers progress in their careers.
The NRF organised an official side-event at the Global Research Council 2016 on 25 May 2016 in New Delhi, India with a focus on showcasing practical approaches for successful interventions to support gender considerations in reviews and evaluation of grant applications, scholarly publishing, and in the implementation of the global goals; and two interactive dialogues including with young scientists, focusing on contextualising these practical approaches to promote science and technology development on the African continent. The dialogue builds on previous GRC topics in supporting the next generation of researchers (2014), funding scientific breakthroughs (2015), the 2016 theme of Equality and Status of Women in Research, as well as the African Union’s Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063 in 2015.
As co-host of the 2015 Annual Meeting with JSPS, Japan, the NRF has established its position in the global science council environment. Dr Molapo Qhobela, CEO, has been elected to the GRC Governing Board as the representative for Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the Deputy-Chairperson of the Board.