TranSforming InSTitutions to Advance women leadeRS in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (SISTARS): lessons from Ghana and Kenya
In sub-Saharan Africa, despite various interventions to promote women’s participation in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), there are still very few women in leadership positions. Legislation, policies, and programs at various levels in many developing countries have failed to utilize the potential of the entire population, particularly women. In Ghana and Kenya, for example, policies and legislation have been enacted in different sectors, including educational institutions, to increase female enrolment, and in workplaces to provide for equal opportunity for both men and women. Mentorship programs by both the private and public sectors are also in place to encourage females to pursue STEM careers. Though progress has been made, these efforts are still not meeting the expectations of narrowing gender inequity, especially towards advancing women to leadership positions in STEM. These have been linked to complex issues, including gender-based norms and socio-cultural practices which need further understanding.
This project aims to contribute to advancing women in STEM, in both industry and academia, through the development of innovative strategies that will promote women to leadership positions. Using Ghana and Kenya as case studies, the project seeks to understand why women find it difficult to rise to leadership positions in their STEM careers. The overall goal is to assess institutional efforts at gender mainstreaming in STEM and propose and test innovative strategies to promote institutional advancement and protection of women in leadership positions in academia and industry.
This project is part of a cohort of seven projects that were selected following the call for proposals to the Gender in STEM (GIST) Research Initiative. The aim of the cohort is to increase the contribution of science to gender equality. It seeks to advance women’s leadership and participation in STEM, and to increase gender analysis in STEM research.