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April 26 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


In recent years, there has been growing concern about the significant gender gap in Indian STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) faculties.

Despite strides made in education and professional fields, women remain vastly underrepresented in these critical areas.

Understanding the reasons behind this gap and implementing effective strategies to address it are crucial for promoting gender equality and harnessing the full potential of India’s STEM talent pool.

Factors Contributing to Gender Gap in Indian STEM Faculties

Social Bias Against Certain STEM Fields

  • Perception of certain STEM fields as less feminine influences women’s choices.
  • Biology, perceived as a “soft science,” has higher female representation compared to Engineering and Physics, considered “hard sciences.”

Transition from Postdoctoral Research to Faculty Positions

  • The transition from postdoc to faculty often aligns with family planning, posing challenges for women.
  • Societal pressure prioritizing family over career ambitions affects women’s decisions.

Toxic Workplace Environment

  • Women face disrespect, inadequate access to resources, and limited advancement opportunities, leading to exits from STEM academia.

Difficulty Accessing Gender Representation Data

  • Absence of a central database tracking women faculty in STEM hampers understanding and monitoring of the gender gap.

Government Initiatives to Promote Women in STEM

Women in STEMM (WiS) Program

  • Provides scholarships, fellowships, and research grants to women in STEM.
  • Offers mentorship and networking opportunities.

Vigyan Jyoti

  • Encourages girl students in classes 9-12 to pursue higher education and careers in STEM.
  • Provides workshops, mentoring, and resources from school to PhD level.

Women in Science and Engineering-KIRAN (WISE-KIRAN)

  • Promotes and supports women scientists in exploring cutting-edge fields of science and engineering.
  • Offers S&T-based internship and self-employment opportunities.

Steps to Bridge the Gender Gap in Indian STEM Faculties

Flexible Work Arrangements and On-site Childcare

  • Offer part-time options and on-site childcare facilities to female faculty members.
  • Facilitate work-life balance, particularly for those with young children.

“Back to Academia” Fellowships

  • Create fellowship programs supporting women re-entering academia after career breaks.
  • Provide resources and mentorship for a smooth transition back to research and teaching.

International Collaboration and Exchange Programs

  • Encourage female faculty participation in international research collaborations.
  • Expand networks and perspectives, enhancing research capabilities.

Visibility and Recognition

  • Highlight achievements of female faculty members through awards and media coverage.
  • Inspire others and promote role models within the STEM community.

Women Safety and Data-Led Development

  • Implement robust policies to address workplace harassment.
  • Ensure equal opportunities for female talent retention.
  • Incorporate data collection on female faculty to inform targeted interventions and policy decisions.


The gender gap in Indian STEM faculties poses a significant challenge to achieving gender equality.

While various factors contribute to this gap, government initiatives such as WiS Program and Vigyan Jyoti aim to promote women in STEM.

Implementing steps like flexible work arrangements and “Back to Academia” fellowships can further bridge this divide.


April 26
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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