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Korea Foundation for Women i n Science, Engineering and Technology

WISET News

WISET Policy Forum “ Inquiring with all scientists and engineers about policies related to female scientists and engineers” was conducted on November 24

조회수1,551 등록일2021-11-25
“Policies for female scientists and engineers: men and women must solve problems together.”
- WISET Policy Forum “ Inquiring with all scientists and engineers about policies related to female scientists and engineers” was conducted on November 24.
- Results of policy demands on female scientists and engineers and suggesting midto-long-term policy directions related to female scientists and engineers.






□ At the conducted on November 24, scientists and engineers in the field spoke with a unified voice. “Ensuring changes in perceptions is a necessary task. Policies related to female scientists and technicians are not just a problem for women, but also a common problem that both men and women must resolve together.”

 ○ In addition, they agreed that there is an urgent need for fulfilling the following tasks:
  △ Expanding support for female scientists and engineers to re-enter their careers.
  △ Creating a balanced work-life environment.
  △ Maturing as an independent female researcher.
  △ Providing support for young/emerging female scientists.

To this end, the participants proposed a mandatory childrearing leave system for men, encouraging a culture that accommodates career changes, aiding the relaxation of youth age standards for social advancement, and a policy supporting female scientists and engineers in all fields, instead of elite-oriented support policies.

□ The Korea Center for Women in Science, Engineering, and Technology (later called WISET, President Hye-yeon Ahn) and Engineers and Scientists for Change (after this ESC, Delegate Beom-jun Kim) conducted the Engineers Policy Forum> on Wednesday, November 24, 1:00 p.m., with the theme“Inquiring with all scientists and engineers about policies related to female scientists and engineers.”

 ○ This forum was sponsored by the Ministry of Science and ICT, and conducted
with the aim to determine policy demands for female scientists and engineers and suggest policy development for female scientists and engineers in the mid-to-long term.

 ○ The main presentations on “the current state of policy for female scientists and engineers” and “the demand for policies related to female scientists and engineers in the field*” were followed by a summary of five industry, academia, and research employees seeking mid-to-long-term development directions for policies for female scientists and engineers. The discussion proceeded in this sequence.

□ A survey was conducted among men and women involved in science and technology fields to understand policy demands. As a result, each policy division identified areas of interest with relation to policies, and detailed policy issues were determined through town meetings.

* (1st) Survey (Aug. 31–Sep. 9, 2021, 2,243 male and female scientists and engineers): Survey on policy awareness of female scientists and technicians, difficulties faced by female scientists and engineers, policies of interest, policies to be expanded in the future, etc.
(2nd) Town meeting (Oct. 24, 2021, approximately 50 men and women in science and technology): Highlight complex policy issues by organizing five divisions for each policy issue of interest derived from the questionnaire. wherein any citizen can participate and express their opinion on a set topic. It is used as a window to reflect the people's opinions on various policies.

□ [Presentation 1] Jihye Kwon, director of the WISET Policy Research Center, delivered a presentation on “The Current State of Policy for Women in Science and Technology.” Kwon stated: “In the current situation and environment, issues such as low fertility, diversity, and inclusion, nurturing and fostering female scientists and engineers are an irresistible trend. Therefore, it is necessary to prevent leakage of the career pipeline of female scientists and engineers by implementing step-by-step measures.”

□ [Presentation 2] ESC secretary-general Rae-young Kim announced the results of the policy demands for female scientists and engineers that were collected through a town meeting and a survey for male and female scientists and engineers. Based on the result, both men and women perceived “career interruption due to marriage and childcare” as the most severe difficulty female scientists and engineers faced. Among the policies aimed for female scientists and engineers that will be expanded in the future, Kim selected “the prevention of career interruption and support for re-entry to work, creating a work-family balanced environment, and support for R&D activities for female researchers.”

Item Female Male
Career interruption caused by marriage and childrearing and
difficulties in re-entry to the workplace
44.4% 60.5%
Relative discrimination towards woman at the time of
employment
34.5% 28.5%
Career growth limits in academia and work 23.3% 22.6%


Scientists and Engineers>
Item Ratio
Support for creating an environment for work-family balance; for
example, preventing career interruption and re-entry to the workplace
43.2%
R&D activities and environmental support to develop and mature as
independent female researchers
31.7%
Program support for ensuring the employment and career development
of female scientists and engineers
31.3%

Division Summary of Town Meeting Policy Issues
Youth/Emerging
Researchers
Stabilization of research environment (guarantee of
labor cost for graduate students), relaxation of
standards for young people to enter society
Career Interruption/Reentry Support for flexible work patterns, professional
training for scientists who have briefly paused their
careers
Work-family Integration Flexible working hours, providing mandatory
childrearing leave for men
Mature as an independent
researcher
Encouragement of adventure research during the
early stage in one’s career, provision of secure and
stable research funding.
Diverse career
advancement
Development of a career change acceptance culture,
expansion of career policies for other careers in
addition to researchers

□ Professor Byeong Mook Won (Sungkyunkwan University) led the panel
discussion. Jin-ah Jeong, managing director (Hanmi Pharm. Co., Ltd.); Hyun-Seung Lee, COO/co-chief of the branch (TELEPASE Co., Ltd. / Girls In Tech Korea); So-Yeon Lim, research professor (Sookmyung Women's University); Min-ryeong Song, a research fellow (KAIST); and Eun-ji Lee, a science communicator (Korea
Foundation for Science and Creativity) participated in the panel. The panelists shared their opinions regarding the policy development direction in response to the derived policy demand.

 ○ Min-ryeong Song, a research fellow, noted that "it is a problem to only ask women to speak up about the issues faced by female scientists and engineers…We need to ask men in science and technology, who led the cultural field of science and technology as an overwhelming majority, to partake in expressing such thoughts and expend effort in aiding these discussions." Song proposed various policies, such as "recognizing that men and women should handle childrearing together, developing a quota system for parental leave for men, and deriving a plan to provide additional points for parental leave to institutions."

 ○ Eun-ji Lee, a science communicator, stated: "When you venture into the field of science and engineering, there are various career fields besides that of researchers. However, there is a tendency to think about the career direction in a limited perspective." “We need a plan to support career diversification so that women in science and engineering can advance into more diverse fields,” Song emphasized. In addition, reflecting on how the situation of emerging female scientists delayed the initial entry, she proposed “considering easing criteria related to age limits for young researchers."

 ○ So-yeon Lim, a research professor, cited a study in the United States. “Higher grades among female students lead to higher ratio of science and engineering major selection among women, whereas male students’ grades have a notably lower impact on their choice of science and engineering major…It is vital to form a consensus that not only excellent female students, but anyone can take on the challenge of science and engineering.” “We must revitalize the female scientific and technology community that leads the students,” argued Lim. Moreover, Lim noted that “women should grow up and mature to be independent researchers and become leaders.” Lim continued, “to achieve this, it is necessary to create a research culture and environment where women scientists and engineers can demonstrate their capabilities.” She also emphasized the need for a research institute for science and technology focused on women's issues in general.

 ○ In terms of industry, Hyeon-seung Lee, co-head of the branch, emphasized "support for not only the development of individual female participation in science and technology, but also support for growth as a member of the organization." “It is a science and technology field where individual competence is important,” urged Lee. “However, sustainable growth is difficult without integrating and leading the organization…Therefore, education including a business perspective should be provided starting from the school level,” emphasized Lee.

 ○ Gin-ah Jung, managing director, said that “ For the growth of true female scientists and technicians, a system ensuring fairness that can receive support from both men and women is necessary.” In addition, they noted “from the perspective of a company, it is true that the loss of manpower due to parental leave, etc., is a notable burden.” Jung suggested that “the government would support replacement workers so that companies can actively encourage parental leave.”

□ An online audience commented that “there are many good policies for female scientists and engineers, but there are people who do not know the policy and thus do not benefit from it.” Regarding this, Ji-hye Kwon, the director of the WISET center, stated: “There were several mentions of the need for policy publicity during the town meeting.” “We will expand the business scale of the policy and expand the base of benefits by providing visitation services, ” Kwon replied. Then, another audience mentioned the need for a policy change for the majority, rather than the elite-oriented nature of the existing policy. Professor So-yeon Lim stated, “currently, policies are focused only on female research and developers…In the IT field, even if you are not a science or engineering major, you are making a big contribution to that field.” Lim agreed with the audience's opinion that “a policy to support convergence talents that actively reflects industry trends should be implemented.”

□ The WISET president, Hye-yeon Ahn, noted that "this forum is meaningful because it derives policy demands that reflect the voices of the field and provides policy recommendations accordingly…We will reflect the demands for career re-entry, improvement of the work-life balance system, support for new female scientists, and revitalization of the female scientific and technical community mentioned today.” Moreover, Ahn concluded, “we will do our best to create an environment wherein female scientists and engineers can achieve full growth through sustainable methods.”

□ Related forum videos are available at any time through the Foundation's YouTube channel (WISET).