Social Innovation: Women and Science

Posted by on January 10, 2013 in CSR, Entrepreneurship, Non-Profit

scientistThroughout history women have made significant contributions to science and social innovation. We all know of Marie Sklodowska-Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel prize in 1903 for physics, and who then became a double Nobel prize winner in 1911 for chemistry—both prizes were for her work onradiation. However, women have faced and continue to face many barriers in the world of science, from lower status and salaries to having their work peer-reviewed and accepted.

Today, the salaries of women scientists with doctoral degrees are less than men. Consequently, there is less participation by women in high-ranking scientific field/positions. Moreover, even with men and women in the same scientific field, women are typically paid 15 to 17 per cent less than men. Leading companies and prestigious universities around the world are concerned about the continuous exit of women from science, social innovation and technology.

In response, a number of organisations have been started to combat the issues that may deter girls from careers in science. In the U.K. the Wise Campaign (Women into Science, Engineering and Construction) and the U.K. Resource Centre for Women in SET are collaborating to ensure that industry, academia and education are all aware of the importance of challenging the traditional approaches to career advice and recruitment that result in the loss of some of the best brains in the country. Elsevier, the world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information, products and services, has recently published, ‘Careers Through Leadership and Innovation: Inspiration and Strategies for Women‘, an academic title by Dr. Pamela McCauley Bush. It is a must read for all women pursuing or involved in a career in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM). Accompanying the book is a website that features case studies, with slides that can be used in teaching and bullet points that summarize critical points of each chapter.

Dr. Bush’s professional background and experience makes her the best-placed author for a book like this, as she is not only a Fulbright Scholar but also a successful researcher and innovator who is recognised as an influential speaker in leadership and STEM education communities. In her book, Dr. Bush examines research-based leadership and social innovation principles to make them both real and attainable. She empowers her readers to build upon their own strengths and successes to discover and develop leadership and innovation skills, by providing practical guides that educate, encourage and equip readers to pursue leadership and innovation opportunities.

Photo Credit: Shout-Africa

Sangeeta Haindl is a staff writer for Justmeans on Social Enterprise. When not writing for Justmeans, Sangeeta wears her other hat as a PR professional. Over the years, she has worked with high-profile organizations within the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors; and won awards from her industry. She now runs her own UK consultancy: Serendipity PR & Media.


Justmeans is the world’s leading source of information and connections for the sustainable business industry. Founded in 2008, the company rapidly grew its online community of practitioners, investors, journalists, activists, and students to 250,000 registered users. A wide variety of companies rely on Justmeans news distribution services to create, distribute, and analyze performance on media releases related to social and environmental performance. Justmeans is also the publisher of the Social Innovation Awards and a number of leading conferences in the sustainable business industry.

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