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Change workplace culture for more female scientists, engineers and mathematicians: UN Chief on International Day of Women and Girls in Science
On the occasion of International Day of Women and Girls in Science (11 February) with the theme "Investment in Women and Girls in Science for Inclusive Green Growth", UN Chief Antonio Guterres in his message urged the world community 'to change workplace culture so that girls who dream of being scientists, engineers and mathematicians can enjoy fulfilling careers in these fields.'

"Skills in science, technology, engineering and math drive innovation and are critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal. Women and girls are vital in all these areas. Yet they remain woefully under-represented… The world cannot afford to miss out on the contributions of half our population… We must promote access to learning opportunities for women and girls, particularly in rural areas," he stated in his message.

He is of the view that gender stereotypes, a lack of visible role models and unsupportive or even hostile policies and environments can keep them from pursuing these careers. He suggests that concerted efforts should be made to overcome these obstacles and misconceptions about girls' abilities.

He urged, "Let us ensure that every girl, everywhere, has the opportunity to realize her dreams, grow into her power and contribute to a sustainable future for all."

According to the UN, science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Over the past 15 years, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science; yet women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science.

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