Perspectives of Women in Science: past and present
Women were once pushed out from science. However, they pushed back, entering science in any way they could. Although these past women pioneered the way for modern women to choose science, there are still barriers that hinder a woman’s advance. Feminism was a social movement that evolved into academia. Feminist values have been used to critique science and look for solutions that will break down barriers for women. Is feminism still needed today to help women reach their full potential in science? I have used case studies to compare five women in science today with women in the same field from the past, focusing on New Zealand, and Western society. I personally interviewed the women, either in person or by Skype, in order to ask follow up questions so I could dig deeper into the topic. The topics that I focused on were infrastructure, motivation, career and life balance, women directing science, and Māori women in science. I have concluded that women in science still face many barriers, both implicit and explicit. While explicit discrimination has become less socially accepted, subtle biases still prevail, making it difficult for women to progress in their career. Support networks are a very important tool women use to work past these challenges. Feminism is still needed today to combat subtle bias and to help women establish greater support networks.
Advisor: Fleming, Jean
Degree Name: Master of Science Communication
Degree Discipline: Science Communication and Natural History Filmmaking
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: women in science; feminism; New Zealand; media; Maori in science
Research Type: Thesis