The website is available at space4women.unoosa.org.
Space4Women is a UNOOSA project that encourages women and girls to pursue education in space and in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), by sharing knowledge about career opportunities and the importance of gender equality and empowerment in these sectors. The project strengthens the awareness, capacity, and skills of individuals and institutions to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in these fields.
According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, only around 30% of researchers worldwide are women. Furthermore, out of the 560 people who have travelled to space, only 11% are women.
When looking at employment in the space sector, only around 20-22% of employees are women: about the same percentage as 30 years ago. The difference is even starker when looking at positions with high responsibilities: only 19% of leaders in the aerospace and defence sectors are women. Additionally, women make up only 35% of STEM students in higher education.
These numbers show a lot remains to be done to level the playing field and ensure that girls and women can fully contribute their talents to these crucial sectors. The benefits run both ways: STEM education and careers can provide women with quality, high-earning jobs in growing sectors, promoting their financial independence, security and career satisfaction. At the same time, humanity cannot achieve its full potential in space and STEM sectors, and in the rapid innovation, they can bring to many other fields, without the contribution of women. Advances in space-related science, technology, innovation and exploration will contribute to bettering humankind and the sustainability of our planet in many areas such as agriculture, climate change, disaster response, transportation, health, communication and many more applications.
One of the unique features of the Space4Women website is a global mentoring network that will connect young women with female role models who can encourage, advise and guide them throughout their career journey from education to occupations in STEM sectors. Studies (such as) have found that mentoring and role models are essential factors that can help women build their confidence and succeed in traditionally male-dominated fields: therefore, the creation of such a network, particularly innovative in the space sector, can make a concrete difference. UNOOSA is currently looking for more mentors to join the network and help women navigate STEM careers.
The Space4Women platform is also the central hub for global initiatives and for research on various aspects of women’s involvement in STEM and the space sector under the umbrella of the United Nations. Through the website, UNOOSA will provide data, research and evidence-based policy advice to institutions and Governments to increase opportunities for women in the STEM and space sectors, and for recognizing the contributions of women to these fields.
The Space4Women project is carried out thanks to generous contributions from the Government of Israel, as well as from the European Space Agency and Women in Aerospace Europe.
For further information, please contact:
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs