• According to known UNESCO data on some selected nations, India is at the lowest position, having only 14% of female researchers working in STEM areas stressing the presence of a glass ceiling.

What is the Glass Ceiling?

  • A glass ceiling is a metaphor used to illustrate an invisible barricade that averts women from ascending past a certain status in a hierarchy. 
  • The metaphor was first minted by feminists in regard to barricades in the professions of high-achieving women.

What Is a Gender-equal Society? Change: Gender Equal Society: 

  • A society in which both women and men shall be given equivalent chances to partake freely in actions in all fields as equivalent partners, and be capable to enjoy political, economic, social and cultural benefits equally as well as sharing commitments.

How glass ceiling limits women's progress?

  • Few opportunities: Due to deep-rooted prejudices, it is challenging for women to access multiple affairs and grids that are readily available to men.
  • Social barriers and gender norms: Personal barriers include conceptions of compromise and sacrifice that are ingrained in women. This feeds into how women present themselves. External barriers and cultural lines strengthen how men and women “ought” to act.
  • Gender Inequity: Stereotypes linked to gender intellect or gender-based intrinsic aptitude induce inequity which stays disregarded.
  • Low self-confidence: Our socio-cultural constructs contemplate absolute patriarchy compelling even women to be uncertain about their proficiency, and to accept the functions set for them in the household.

The gender gap in employment

  • Around the world, uncovering a job is much more stringent for women than it is for men. 
  • When women are engaged, they manage to work in low-quality jobs in vulnerable circumstances, and there is little advancement projection in the near future.


What are STEM areas?

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics and directs to any subjects that fall under these four disciplines.

What are the drivers at the policy and programme level to promote women in STEM in India?

  • Shattering myths and stereotypes around STEM is critical in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 5 (gender equality) which retains women’s usage of encouraging technology, including ICT as a means of achieving economic empowerment and greater agency and also many other STEM-related SDGs.

Government initiatives

  • GATI: It will be called GATI (Gender Advancement through Transforming Institutions). The DST is comprising a system of grading institutes relying on the enrolment of women and the upgrade of the careers of women faculty and scientists.
  • CURIE: For infrastructure in women’s universities
  • Vigyan Jyoti Scheme: Promote girls in high school to seek STEM
  • The Athena Swan Charter: is a framework which is utilised across the globe to help and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research.
  • KIRAN: (Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through nurturing) Scheme to uplift women Scientists
  • Indo-US Fellowship: for Women in STEMM (STEM and Medicine)


  • Gender equality or equivalency will happen only when there is a shift in mindset and organisations consider women as assets rather than just an assortment of rectification issues. 
  • Policies that enable women to advance in science and society globally are required. 
  • The earth cannot afford to overlook what women harbour to deliver.