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Literature Review: The Underrepresentation of Women in Scientific Fields Worldwide

The underrepresentation of women in the scientific field is a broad topic, with a long history, manifold intersecting causes, and different manifestations around the world. This literature review conducted by Beatrice Avolio, Jessica Chávez, and Carlos Vílchez-Román tackles the topic, covering 470 papers published form 1985 to 2018. The papers address examine factors that have to do with access, participation, and progress in scientific careers.

The authors emphasise that these factors are complex and involve multiple independent factors, which also vary based on women’s life stages and cultural surroundings. The paper groups the factors into the following categories: individual, family, social, educational, and labor-economic.

This literature review will be of use for anyone trying to gain an overview of the current state of affairs as well as the current state of research on the topic. It identifies the gaps in past studies and points to the places where evidence is still needed for conducting further research on the topic.

The paper can be accessed here.

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