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University of Arizona combating gender inequity in STEM fields

University of Arizona Students in BIO5 Lab
Posted at 5:01 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 20:10:51-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Inside a lab at the University of Arizona's BIO 5 Institute, the next generation of scientists are hard at work. Traditionally, most of these students are men.

"Women make up about half of the workforce, but only about a quarter in STEM," said University of Arizona BIO5 Director, Dr. Jennifer Barton.

University leaders, Dr. Jennifer Barton and Dr. Betsey Cantwell, want to change that.

"It was obvious that we needed to figure out ways that we can encourage more women to enter, and stay, in STEM fields," said Barton. "This was an important topic for us to take on."

The two Doctors shared their tips for women in BIO5's podcast, "Science Talks." The podcast is a fairly new platform the university is using to connect with the community.

"Women are making science their own," said Cantwell. "There's no reason that you won't be able to do that. You will be able to do that. You don't have to convert yourself to something that is different than who you are."

UArizona wants to continue recognizing the great work of women, beyond Women's History Month. Their new Women of Impact program will do just that.

"It's really an opportunity for our community to, not just suggest women who are deserving of recognition, but to suggest people within the community who are supporting women," said Cantwell.

Barton and Cantwell want to remind women that they can do anything they set their minds to.

"There are so many ways to get funding, support, fellowships and scholarships," said Cantwell. "There are really a lot of ways to get into STEM."

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Megan Meier is a reporter for KGUN 9. Megan graduated from Arizona State Universityʼs Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications in May 2018. While pursuing her degree in broadcast journalism, Megan interned at the City of Phoenix. Share your story ideas and important issues with Megan by emailing megan.meier@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.