Women continue to make progress in education. SUNEDU figures indicate that in 2016 50.4% of all university students were women. In addition, in the private sector, the participation of women with higher education reaches 49 per cent, a figure that has risen by 12 points in the last 15 years, according to Servicio.
Despite this, there is still a gap in the level of participation of women in science and technology. In fact, they represent only 29.2% of the students enrolled in these races and only 32% of graduates, according to studies of CENTRUM PUCP.
If we take for example the engineering career, the difference is strong, as 30.8% of men prefer it compared to 9.5% of women, according to the latest National Household Survey (ENAHO) of INEI. Some of the reasons for this gap are the family burden, the wage gap, the lack of scientific stimulation in children and gender bias, says CENTRUM.
Although the countryside is not easy for them, in Peru there are women who struggle day by day to change these prejudices by doing what they love most. Thus they open the field to new generations of women eager to improve the country. Here are three of them.:
She is a Peruvian scientist specializing in biology and genetics. Has a PdD in genetics from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom and has been head of Unit of Genomics of the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH).
Gisella has worked on building the physical map of chromosome XII of rice and has also been the lead researcher of the potato genome sequencing project in Peru.
Her vast experience has supported her to be president of the National Council for Science, Technology and technological innovation (CONCYTEC) from 2012 to 2017. She is currently executive president of the National Institute for research on glaciers and mountain ecosystems (Inaigem).
Just in this last position he has been leader of the inaigem team of scientists in the Antar XXVI expedition in Antarctica, in order to carry out research on the impact of glacier retreat on marine biodiversity.
This year she was chosen as one of the seven exemplary Latin American women, in a list made by the medium N+1, specialized in science and technology that has presence in Lima, Bogotá, California, Moscow and Madrid.
She holds a PhD in Food Science from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil and a research professor at the Catholic University of Santa María de Arequipa. His experience includes the area of food science and technology and food product development.
Lena explains that she was “quite interested in knowing the healthy potential of many foods from our biodiversity,” in an interview with Fondecyt. In fact, it is dedicated to research the biodiversity of Peruvian maize (Kculli and Cabanita) in relation to the presence of bioactive compounds in order to determine its functional potential relevant to health.
In 2017, was the winner of the Prize “For Women in Science” of CONCYTEC, L’oréal and UNESCO, in recognition of his professional trajectory and contribution to the research. “From a young age, if you have a scientific curiosity, follow that dream so that as female scientists, you can contribute to the science and development of the country,” she says in the interview.