Monday (11 February) marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
It is a day aimed at promoting the full and equal participation of women and girls in education, training, employment and decision-making processes in the sciences. But are our girls showing that interest in the sciences? On Monday’s (11 February) Cayman 27’s Taylor Burrowes sat down with Cayman International School science teacher Mariska Deklerk to find the answer to that question.
Government/ Gender Affairs Unit statement on Int’l Day of Women and Girls in Science
On Monday, 11th February, the Cayman Islands Government’s Gender Affairs Unit joins with the United Nations in observance of The International Day of Women and Girls in Science. In a resolution adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 2015 this annual date was proclaimed to be observed, the purpose being to :
● promote the full and equal participation of women and girls in education, training, employment and decision-making processes in the sciences,
● eliminate all discrimination against women, including in the field of education and employment,
● overcome legal, economic, social and cultural barriers thereto by, among other things, encouraging the development of science education policies and programming, including school curricula, as appropriate, to encourage greater participation of women and girls,
● promote career development for women in science, and
● recognise the achievements of women in science. Cayman’s efforts are underway to support these aims, and such concepts are underpinned by the Gender Equality Law, 2011.
STEM is a term used to refer to the academic disciplines including Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These subjects are the focus of the National Science Education Strategy 2018-2023 introduced by the Ministry of Education.
Globally, it is recognised that Science-related jobs are increasing; therefore persons must be prepared to compete for such positions. The employment outlook in the sector is positive.
Locally, according to the Economics and Statistics Office (ESO) Compendium of Statistics 2017 data , there has been an increase in employment over the 2016 numbers in certain industries for example: Information & Communication – an 8.7% increase (from 835 to 908 ); and in Professional, Scientific and Technological Activities – an 41% increase (from 3087 to 4352).
With regards to Overseas Scholarships, the Secretariat’s data shows that 37 % of students are pursuing STEM related majors, while 67% are pursuing other non –STEM majors. The number of female students (57%) pursuing STEM majors surpass male students (43%) by 14 %.
STEM graduates can work in a wide variety of fields including:
• Life Sciences
• Civil Engineering
• Electrical Engineering, and
• Computer Programming
These jobs provide an opportunity to participate in leading innovation and invention, as well as an ample income, and in doing so facilitate economic empowerment for women.
Within the Civil Service, women occupy several STEM related posts across the subject areas. Posts currently include Speech & Language Pathologist, Educational Psychologist, Director of Economics & Statistics; Senior Internal Auditor; Research Officer (Microbiology); Environmental Health Engineer Officer, Director of Environment, Veterinary Officer and Scenes of Crime Officer.
The Gender Affairs Unit recognises the important contribution of the science and technology community to sustainable development and in promoting the empowerment, participation and contribution of women and girls in science, technology and innovation. With the development of Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) in the Special Economic Zone, opportunities exist for new technology driven companies, and training opportunities for young persons through the Summer in the City Internship Programme. Registration is currently open, and the application deadline is 17 March 2019.
For more information on this programme, visit https://www.caymanenterprisecity.com/enterprise-cayman/intern-in-the-city/ or contact Bianca Mora, Public Engagement Officer at CEC, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be inspired by the stories of females who have established businesses or participated in internships within CEC, visit – https://www.caymanenterprisecity.com/blog.
There are currently 250 special economic zone companies, with Internet & Blockchain (46.2%), 16.3% within the Media, and 8.7% being in Science & Technolog