As part of efforts to enhance female interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in the country, the Council for Science and Industrial Research (CSIR) has established a directory of female senior members.
Professor Rose Emma Mamaa Entsua-Mensah, Deputy Director General, CSIR, said this would facilitate proposition of policies to enable women to build a career in the field of sciences.
Speaking at the launch, Prof. Entsua-Mensah said that due to social, cultural, negative perception and financial challenges, interest in science among Ghanaian women continued to dwindle with the educated majority favouring the social sciences.
“Our culture has never been supportive of Ghanaian women pursuing career in the various fields in science. Although some have built a career out of it, a host of others are not confident in their abilities because it is perceived a male course”, she said.
The Deputy Director General of CSIR said the situation was already on the worst path as a result of lack of role models, who would encourage young girls to take up the challenge.
Prof. Entsua-Mensah expressed optimism that the directory would offer support and guidance to females interested in pursuing science, mathematics and research as a career and would also ensure their overall development in the field.
Dr. Victor Agyeman, Director General, CSIR, commended the female senior members for undertaking the initiative to encourage females to surge further in the sciences.
He bemoaned the unfortunate situation at the various tertiary institutions where females constituted less than 20 per cent of the science and research departments, and urged for the implementation of favourable systems and structures to attract more females into that academic field.
To ensure more females take up the field, Dr. Agyeman proposed the formulation of a policy that would spell out a respectable quota for females during organisational recruitment.
He noted that the coming of the directory was significant as the CSIR aimed to become more visible in its operations to dispel the growing perception that science was for males.
Dr. Agyeman reiterated management’s commitment to continuously build the capacity of female staff to be able to occupy leadership positions to help the Council realise its vision.
Prof. Aba Bentil Andam, Physicist, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, urged the members to redirect their attention on investing in their careers and maintain discipline to achieve their targeted goals.
She called on management of the Council to help female employees access finance to be able to further their education and build on their capacity.
By Claude Nyarko Adams