The International Journal of Applied Glass Science (IJAGS) has published a special Women in Glass issue, highlighting gender inequality in the scientific field. In this issue the studies of a group of outstanding women researchers who are developing their careers in glass from different countries took place.
FATMA BATUKAN BELGE
While recent global events was highlighting the inequality in issues such as race, gender and national origin, ignited the passion to create equality for all people. Women in the world and Turkey while fighting for gender equality and against violence, support came from a scientific journal to female researcher engaged in scientific career in the glass field. The International Journal of Applied Glass Science has published a special Women in Glass issue, highlighting a group of outstanding women researchers who are developing their careers in academia, government laboratories, and industry in different countries and across a wide range of topics related to glass.
The issue, Women in Glass includes 17 original articles with 53 authors coming from 12 different countries (including the U.S., Europe, Japan, Korea, and China) contributed to this effort. 17 articles are on topics that span basic science on glass structure and crystallization mechanisms to atomic simulation of structure and properties of glasses. These authors report on many different cutting-edge applications of glass, ranging from sealing glasses and glass-ceramics to components for batteries, phosphate glasses, fibers, or biomaterials, with an emphasis on glasses for optics and photonics. Most of the papers are co-authored-articles written by women from different institutions and countries enabling increased networking, an essential tool to build and expand the stated goals of mainstreaming and equality.
Alicia Durán, IJAGS co-editor and ICG (International Commission on Glass) president says: “As of March 8, 2020, there remains only one woman for every nine men in the elite of Western science. European and OECD women scientists occupy very few decision-making positions. Their jobs are often evaluated more harshly, and it is documented that they get less funding and fewer fellowships to investigate, while being paid salaries lower than those of their male colleagues at an equivalent educational and professional experience level.”
A statistical review of the women in positions in higher education, research institutes, and industry shows that, despite country-specific variations in systems and structures, the proportion of women in senior scientific and CEO positions is extremely small everywhere, further illuminating the gender segregation in the scientific field. Alicia Durán says that the glass world is not an exemption: “Women are often near half of the attendants to seminars, meetings, and conferences, but they only represent a low percentage of invited talks and keynotes. A similar picture appears in special issues of journals where men often are, if not always, overrepresented at levels proportional to their weight and relevance in the field.”
International Commission on Glass (ICG), aims to focus more on this issue in the International Year of Glass project to be presented to the United Nations. “Women In Glass” special issue is only the beginning. Durán says; “To the best of our knowledge, this issue is the first time a scientific journal in material science has dedicated a full issue to women researchers. We are thrilled to be the first and expect this issue is only the beginning of a new culture of integrating gender equality in the core of science world. Educating companies and institutions in managing diversity and creating an engine for innovation and creativity is the best route to a brighter future. Gender matters! Women are half of the world and must become half of the glass world. We hope we have laid the first brick toward this challenging but realizable goal.”
International Day of Women
and Girls in Science
The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, celebrated on 11 February, is implemented by UNESCO that gives global priority to gender equality and UN-Women. This Day is an opportunity to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls.