Measures needed to promote women's role in STEM

December 16, 2022 - 08:58
Experts and government officials gathered at a forum in HCM City on December 15 to discuss measures to promote the role of women in the STEM fields.
Successful women in STEM share experience at the forum. — Photo

HCM CITY — Experts and government officials gathered at a forum in HCM City on December 15 to discuss measures to promote the role of women in the STEM fields.

The forum was held as part of the “Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology” or BUILD IT project, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Arizona State University, as well as Lạc Hồng University.

Chairwoman of Lạc Hồng University Council Đỗ Thị Lan Đài said the STEM fields have made great contributions to the global development. Demand for experts in these fields has increased, especially female experts.

A survey showed that women account for 33 per cent of the workforce in STEM fields in Europe and 34 per cent in the US and Canada.

She noted that there is a gender gap in the STEM fields, urging measures to encourage more girl students to engage in STEM.

She suggested measures to raise awareness of lecturers, students and parents about the important role of women in STEM fields and organise competitions and grant scholarships for girl students.

Speaking with the press on the sidelines of the forum, she applauded the BUILD-IT project for organising activities aimed at promoting the participation of women in STEM fields, such as hosting STEM competitions that required each team to be made up of at least 25 per cent girl students.

Dr. Lopa Basu, Senior Advisor at USAID Vietnam, said: “It is exciting to be part of the sixth and final forum in BUILD-IT’s Playbook Series. The impact of the first five forums cannot be overestimated, and I am sure this forum will continue in this tradition of impact.

"This forum celebrates the eight-year collaboration between USAID, BUILD-IT and their university partners in their value of women in STEM. These forums have brought together experts in academia, industry, and government with the common goal of transforming Vietnamese higher education, aligning it with the needs of industry, to create ready-to-work graduates who can contribute effectively and efficiently to an ever-changing workforce."

Participants in this forum discussed the successes and challenges of enrolling, supporting and graduating women in STEM fields. The audience heard from experts in academia and industry about strategies, including designing for women's needs, innovating for women's success, and building equitable teams. Other areas integral to the success of women in STEM - partnering with women and piloting gender-responsive programs - were discussed in panels and celebrated in success stories. — VNS