Women must become active and valued participants —full and equal partners with men—in the science and technology enterprise, as well as in the transfer of knowledge and skills to areas where the need for such skills is greatest. This must happen not only because it is their right, but also because women’s contributions to scientific and technological advances are essential. In addition, women are urgently needed to help enlist their sisters at the grassroots in the ongoing knowledge transformation of the world.
As this past century has seen the gradual erosion of rigid views about which gender does what jobs, women have proved their mettle in many fields. Women have taken their places at all levels of government, they are no longer rarities among university professors (as well as university presidents), they are surgeons and astronauts, and are increasingly found in company boardrooms and other traditionally male bastions.
Thus women have strikingly confirmed their intellectual abilities and wide range of skills. It is now time to eliminate the remaining obstacles that keep women from becoming fully involved in the vital work — including leadership —of science and technology innovation and global capacity building. Academies must lend their prestige and resources to accelerating the inclusion process. The world cannot afford to wait another century for this to happen.
Members of the IAC