Empowering women in the path of knowledge

Girl Guides helped us connect with us. In these times where women’s participation in science remains a challenge, opportunities for enhancement are essential. The Science Mentoring Program is an initiative of the British Council (an organization for cultural relations between the United Kingdom and the world), whose main objective is to address young women dedicated to research, in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), an area where women are underrepresented, so that they receive Mentoring is from standardized scholars/researchers, who are part of the Scholars National System (SNI), and have been pre-trained with the latest tools.

On this occasion, Dr. Ingrid Mañin Rodríguez Buenville of AC Jalisco State Technology and Design Assistance and Research Center (CIATEJ), Southeast Branch, who participates as a mentor in the second generation of the program, takes time for mentoring. Dr. Ivett Peña Azcona recently graduated from the doctoral program in Science Environment and Sustainable Development at Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR), from August 1, 2022 to November 30, 2022.

One hour of meeting per week, and follow-up on goals that have been set are offered in sessions through the virtual meeting. Peña Azcona’s desire to strengthen herself as a young Indigenous researcher in the field of science is coupled with the opportunity to have a mentor, learn about strategies, uncover challenges, and above all, share knowledge. While Ingrid did not have a mentor in her initial training process, today she spends time training young scientists. For her part, Yvette allows herself to be directed, and takes advantage of the opportunity afforded to her by the program’s scholarship, because, as an indigenous Zapotec woman, furthering academically is more of a challenge. This program and mentoring has yielded good results because the young researcher who participates as a “brain” is now recognized for entry into the National Scholars System, as a result of the young researcher’s previous effort and mentor’s accompaniment. Women are increasingly involved in science, even though women account for 33% of all researchers worldwide, and of these, only 12% of those who make up scientific academies are women.

In February 2022, the National Science and Technology Council confirmed on its official website that “the gender inequality is noteworthy as there are on average 61.8% of men and only 38.2% of women. This phenomenon worsens until it reaches 20% of women in SNI 2, SNI 3, and Emeritazgo levels.” In this sense, the Pilot Mentoring Program for Women in STEAM Fields is a celebration. Well, a scenario was created for female researchers to become mentors to other women and help them grow and transcend in academia, creating a support and chaperone network with a gender perspective in a sector generally dominated by men. From researcher to mentor, from student to trainee, it is nothing more than a meeting opportunity between women for women who are devoted, contributing and enriching from research, academia and science in Mexico.

This note serves as an invitation to participate in these mentoring programs, either as an intern if you are a young female researcher beginning her career in the scientific world, or as a mentor if you are a standardized research member of SNI. Strengthening women for women in the path of science.

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