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Diversity and Representation in Science: Why it Matters

By: Vanessa Nyawabila, SDSU Chapter Member

“Women now make up half the national workforce, earn more college and graduate degrees than men, and by some estimates represent the largest single economic force in the world. Yet the gender gap in science persists, to a greater degree than in other professions.” - Marguerite Del Giudice, National Geographic

Despite all the podcasts, books, and statistical data that address the importance of diversity, diversity in the sciences is rarely discussed. In order to better our society through advancements in technology and research, a diverse pool of exceptional people are needed. Everyone deserves to be able to see relatable professionals in their fields of interest; someone who makes you think “that could be me.” Therefore, the representation of women, especially women of color, in the sciences is critical to help young women realize their potential. The advancements made in the sciences affect everyone in society, and you can generally see a correlation between those responsible for these scientific advances and the population that these advances are geared towards. So, if women become the ones discovering, solving, and creating these experimental designs, we are bound to see an increase in innovations that are geared towards the benefit of women.This demonstrates that a lack of diversity in the sciences affects everyone, and therefore everyone has a duty to take action.

Overall, increasing diversity in the sciences would increase the variety of thought provoking ideas, and encourage a broad spectrum of talented people from different backgrounds to participate in the field. Equal representation for scientists of all backgrounds can lead to a world in which women feel empowered to pursue their dreams- even if they may have been previously perceived as inappropriate for their gender or ethnic identity.


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