Despite frequent talk, globally and locally, about the need to support the presence of women in scientific research, this objective is still elusive. Women are still a minority in the fields of mathematics, computer science, engineering and artificial intelligence, and represent only a third of the number of researchers worldwide, according to a recent Unesco report.
As a woman scientific researcher, I can state that all the efforts made so far—whether to promote the presence of women in science or to support young scientists—have fallen short for several reasons, which I can illustrate from my personal experience.
I got involved in the scientific community after receiving a scholarship from the Egyptian Academy of Sciences to study for a master’s degree. I went to great lengths to secure a research position, which cemented my continuity in the field. At the same time, I had to manage my family affairs, as a married woman and the mother of a young child. Reconciling the two tracks has been a great challenge. (See a related article, Juggling a Toddler and a Ph.D.)