As worrying as the fact that women only make up 40% of South Africa’s scientists, engineers and technologists is, what’s even more disheartening is the fact that black women are even more under-represented in the field.

For the next three days, the Department of Science and Technology, together with the US’s Howard University, will discuss initiatives on how to attract women from historically black institutions to STEM professions, at the Women in STEM Conference.

The department and Howard University will also compare notes in the professional trajectories of women in STEM in the USA and South Africa, and highlight the unique opportunities available for women from different local universities including Tshwane University of Technology and Wits University.

Researchers and professionals from the US, Human Sciences Research Council and the National Advisory Council on Innovation will also be in attendance to give talks and take part in panel discussions.

The Women in STEM Conference is currently under way at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rosebank and will end on Thursday from 9am to 5pm on each day.

[Source – Department of Science and Technology]