An essay about women in science

An essay about women in science

Learn how to write an essay that suggests reasons for and solutions to a problem.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.

Reading text

In most universities there are more male students than female students on science courses. What is the reason for this? What could be done to balance out the numbers?

In higher education, science subjects are typically dominated by male students. This negatively impacts the world of work, as fewer females then go into the science, technology and engineering sectors. This essay will explore the reasons for the lack of gender diversity in science and suggest ways to create equal opportunities in this area.

The most likely reason for the imbalance is that society reinforces the idea that boys and girls have different interests and abilities. We see this from a very early age when little boys are given cars and Lego while girls get dolls. The former are encouraged to build things whereas the latter learn to care for others. Later on, we are told that girls are better at languages or boys have better spatial awareness. In fact, there is no evidence that biological differences between the sexes make one gender more talented than another at a particular subject. It is society, not nature, that tells us girls should favour arts and humanities and leave maths and physics to the boys.

Coupled with this is the lack of positive female role models youngsters see doing science-related jobs. Cartoons and stories often show the crazy scientist, genius inventor, or adventurous astronaut as a man. Furthermore, there is an unfortunate perception that scientists are geeky, have poor social skills or that their work is lonely and detached from the rest of the world. These are false stereotypes portrayed by the media, but they may mean that girls do not identify with scientists, and see science as an unappealing career path. If girls saw more positive female role models in science it would give them more confidence and a greater sense of belonging in those subjects.

Given these points, it is important to tackle this issue right from a child's early education. By the time young women are at university, it may already be too late to disprove the view that science is 'not for them'. Hence, for very young children gender-neutral play needs to be encouraged. As children get older, both the education system and the media must raise awareness of female achievements in the field of science, as well as exposing them to a more diverse set of characters in books and films. We need to find ways to show young girls that science is fun, interesting, and, most importantly, theirs too.


  1. Read the question carefully. If the question asks you to discuss the reasons for a problem and suggest solutions, make sure you do both.
  2. In your introduction, restate the question in your own words and say what your essay will do. This essay will outline the reasons for … and offer solutions to the problem.  
  3. Plan the paragraphs of your essay before you write. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that summarises the main idea of the paragraph.
  4. Develop your position fully by extending your ideas and using examples to support your arguments. Use linking expressions like Coupled with, Furthermore, In fact and Given these points to show what is coming next.
  5. Try to use a wide range of vocabulary. Use natural-sounding collocations like equal opportunities and role model. Avoid repetition by using synonyms or words with similar meanings: girls, young women, femaleschildren, youngsters. You can also use the former and the latter to refer to things you have just mentioned.
  6. Build the conclusion from the ideas in the essay rather than introducing new ones.


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Average: 4.4 (7 votes)
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Submitted by joytriplejoy on Wed, 19/07/2023 - 05:53


Good day Sir/Mdm, may I know if 'career path' in Preparation Task, Q4, should be 'career paths' instead? Thank you.

Hello joytriplejoy,

Career paths would be fine, but career path is fine too. We often use the singular after phrases such as 'types of', 'kinds of', 'sorts of' etc. For example:

There are many kinds of bird here.

We have many kinds of career available.

You can find a discussion on this here:



The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Peter,

Thank you for teaching me something new today!
And many thanks for the link to the discussion!


Submitted by UniversalStudent6000 on Sun, 26/02/2023 - 23:30


According with the Inegi, if we search all the states, both sexes, between 2021-2022 and higher school education. The results ar diferrent If we consult for example Aguascalientes which throws 25,369 men and 29,567 women, another example with Baja California which throws 61,857 men and 69,463 women. Given these points, the information may vary in function with the sources we search on internet or even with the books

Submitted by rebecca_bl on Sun, 29/01/2023 - 15:39


My country has also shared the same situation for many years due to deep-rooted prejudices about genders. They believe women belong to jobs relating to languages and art while men are born for science and technology. Women are always considered as a weak, vulnerable and sensitive gender. In feudal ages, they played a housewife role and had to be strictly obedient to their husbands. Society claimed that women's responsibilities are doing household chores, giving birth and taking care of them. Though today's opinions have been a little bit open-minded, those thoughts are still like a big shadow that chains females from stepping out of negative stereotypes and pursuing their interests. Little girls are usually given advice and navigated to follow such occupations that don't require skills relating to statistical research, numerical logic and technology because people think mens are better than womens at those fields. Because of being a fragile gender, they can't handle the enormous pressures of those jobs. This gradually creates a gap between both genders in science and technology subjects, which leads to the overwhelming number of male students in higher education.

Submitted by Daniel Tessore on Sun, 18/12/2022 - 22:06


In Argentina, there are a sizable number of girls rather than boys in the education area. In most teaching courses such as primary teaching, English teaching, etcetera, female students are the majority.This essay will explore the reasons why the youngsters choose these courses rather than male students and the possible solution to the problem.
To begin with, there is a stereotype about how women were seen during Sarmiento’s presidency. At that time, not only were women seen as teachers but also they were seen as second mothers. This idea has been reinforced these days.
In addition, most of male students choose medicine, law, engineering, accounting, etc, rather than education. The reason why most men do not choose education as a profession is the prejudice that the stereotype implies.
Furthermore, boys feel prejudice even more in kindergarten teaching courses because the stereotype is more reinforced due to the absence of the latter. Therefore, girls even maintain the role of “second mothers”. Nevertheless, children who have their mothers or relatives must occupy this role, not teachers. The only thing that professors must do is teach and share knowledge that students need to progress in life.
To conclude, it is paramount to foster and support men to study teaching courses as much as women as well. It is essential to eliminate these stereotypes so as to avoid prejudgment. Both men and women must have the same opportunities to demonstrate their skills as future teachers to be.

Submitted by Rita25 on Tue, 15/11/2022 - 01:18


In my country, Engineering has been dominated by male students for several years whereas female are more keen to pursue career in hospitality and health care Industry. However this has changed over the period of time, there has been a sharp rise of female students pursuing studies in Engineering.
Archictecture, Naval and Electrical Engineering are feilds typically dominated by men, Nowadays we've seen a lot of women entering and pursuing their interest in these field. Media must have influence women to step up and compete with their male counterparts. Therefore Diversity in education and profession setting should be reinforce.

Submitted by siromigu on Thu, 28/04/2022 - 02:02


in my country, Sri Lanka equal opportunities has been widely available for a long time. My mother was a doctor who qualified in the 1960's. during her time there were only a few females pursuing medicine but later when I joined the same university in the 1990's, my batch comprised of roughly one third of females. And now the majority of students studying medicine are female. This I think is a great achievement towards developing equality among genders. One of the main reasons is the high literacy rates in my country, where the parents understand the importance of education and encourage their daughters to pursue a career of their choice and even sometimes insisting that they enroll in the field of science.

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Submitted by Hennadii on Wed, 15/12/2021 - 14:04


Well, I think the gender situation in education in my country is the same as in others. We also have more boys in technical faculties and more girls in humanitarian ones. Why? The reasons may be the same - just how it was in the past and now and, obviously, will be tomorrow. The power of habits and gender stereotypes.
When I studied at radio technical faculty about twenty years ago we hadn't any girls in our group. Not a one. There were just a few of them at the whole faculty in my days. We weren't happy about that then ))
Anyway, I think it's clear that the situation now is a bit different. When the IT-sphere became more important more girls started to choose this profession and now we can find more gender-equal situation in this profession. And it looks absolutely normal nowadays.

Submitted by Ehsan on Wed, 06/10/2021 - 10:27


The situation in my country is similar to the situation mentioned in the article, with the difference that my country is an Islamic country and girls face more restrictions than other parts of the world. However, they try to be active in the community and to balance the situation.