Think science is a guy thing? Well, Dr. María del Pilar Carreón Castro of the Institute of Nuclear Sciences (ICN) at UNAM thinks that's old news, and honestly, a bit ridiculous. “Let's get one thing straight – brains don't come with a gender label,” she argues.
The numbers back her up. Sadly, even today, most nations on Earth haven't figured out that women can rock a lab coat just as well as men. UNESCO reminds us that a measly 33.3% of the world's researchers are women. Artificial Intelligence – the super trendy field? Try 22% women. Ouch.
Don't blame those missing ladies for slacking; the UN says female scientists get smaller research grants than their male peers. Ever heard of the glass ceiling? Apparently, smashing it takes more than brains in some STEM fields.
But hold up! There IS a sliver of hope in those discouraging stats. Dr. Carreón Castro wants every girl who reads this to look right smack in the mirror and tell themselves: You are smart. You are capable. You CAN be a scientist! We gotta beat those tired old whispers of “I can't” or “boys are better” for good.
Dr. Carreón Castro insists the problem starts with families and even teachers doubting STEM is right for girls. Remember, parents – your daughter dreaming of rocket launches instead of prom dresses is totally cool!
ICN and Dr. Carreón Castro are fighting back. From lab tours aimed at schoolgirls to celebrating overlooked role models through student contests, they're planting the science seed early. It's about giving girls the chance to shout (wearing safety goggles, of course), “Eureka!”
The doctor sums it up brilliantly: “When you know where you want to go, the path will happen.” Ladies, if science is your thing, ignore the outdated naysayers. And for everyone else – support a girl in STEM today. Our future needs those brilliant brains.