National

Women scientists bat for conducive workplaces

Tessy Thomas and Trilochan Mohapatra at the inauguration of Women’s Science Congress on Sunday.

Tessy Thomas and Trilochan Mohapatra at the inauguration of Women’s Science Congress on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

more-in

Better childcare facilities, safer laboratories, more funding to research projects are some of their demands

Better childcare facilities, safer laboratories, more funding to research projects were some of the issues that women scientists and researchers batted for to make the work environment more conducive.

At the sidelines of the Women’s Science Congress — part of the Indian Science Congress — several scientists spoke to The Hindu about how institutions and the government can ensure that more women not only choose science but also remain in their field instead of dropping out.

Shyamala Subba Reddy, Professor, Department of Horticulture, University of Agricultural Sciences, who has been teaching for 22 years, said that while there was no dearth of infrastructure, there was a need for women-centric funding for more research work. “There is a need for more supportive system on campuses for young women. Having child care facilities and creches will make a significant difference in ensuring that more women remain in science and research,” she said.

Adequate recognition

Surekha Ramrao Gaikwad, Associate Professor of home science at SSSP College, Parbhani, Maharashtra, spoke about the bureaucracy involved in getting approvals. She held a similar view on the need for incentives for women and adequate recognition for their work.

Reena V. John, who is pursuing her Phd in physical sciences at the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, said: “When we are in the labs, we cannot afford to think of timings and will have to work late hours. Having CCTV cameras, ensuring that only authorised people are given access to the labs are some safety measures that can be adopted. My institution has taken steps in this direction,” she said.

Creating platforms

Another researcher, Prachi Shah, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology at Sabarmati University, felt that creating platforms for women to network would help them grow professionally. “Attending conferences and making presentations on our research work would help us get motivation as well as feedback on our work,” she said.

Role of men

Men also have a huge role to play in how our society inculcates the aspirations of women, said Trilochan Mohapatra, Director-General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), at the inauguration of the Women Science Congress.

On the topic of discrimination of women, he said, “Our country is also waking up very late to the [contribution of] women. Girls are not opting for core areas of science,” he said.

He underscored the importance of framing policies to rectify this imbalance. Tessy Thomas, scientist and Director-General of Aeronautical Systems, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), spoke about the achievements of women scientists.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 10:31:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/women-scientists-bat-for-conducive-workplaces/article30487734.ece

Next Story