11:00-11:30 Enablers and Inhibitors for Women in STEM: A Look at The AAS Women Fellows in Science

Presenter:
Dr Priscilla Kolibea Mante
Ms Allen Mukhwana

Dr Priscilla Kolibea Mante

Dr. Priscilla K. Mante is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Pharmacology, KNUST, Kumasi. Ghana. She holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) and a Ph. D. (Pharmacology) Degrees from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana and trained as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Michigan, USA. Dr. Mante’s research is focused on investigating natural products for activity against drug-resistant epilepsy types such as Dravet Syndrome. Her current efforts are geared towards natural products and voltage-gated sodium channel activity. Her research incorporates the use of animal disease models and whole-cell patch clamp techniques to discover new and potent therapeutic options for epilepsy, depression and anxiety. She also has interest in health-related quality of life research.Dr. Mante is a beneficiary of the University of Michigan STEM Seed Grant, L’Oréal-UNESCO FWIS Fellowship, University of Michigan African Presidential Scholars Program, Horst Köhler fellowship, among others. Dr. Mante is widely published and serves as a reviewer for various journals on neuroscience and pharmacology.She is a registered Pharmacist and current Chair of the Ghana Young Academy.

Ms Allen Mukhwana

Mukhwana joined The AAS as Research Systems Manager in November 2017. She is working with a broad range of partners including researchers, funders, research management professionals and institutions to develop a programme to professionalise research and innovation management in Africa and provide leadership for the transformation of research systems and management. Prior to joining The AAS, Mukhwana was Centre Manager for the Makerere University/UVRI Infection and Immunity Research Training Programme (MUII-PLUS). She joined MUII-PLUS from the Infectious Diseases Institute, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, where she was Senior Research Administrator and Head of Capacity Building for more than six years. There, she established the research support functions and structures and articulated the governance framework. She is passionate about management of research ecosystems in Africa, from governance and compliance, portfolio tracking, through to dissemination and reporting.

Women Scientists have an important role to play in Africa’s development, including pushing the envelope on gender equality, one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Globally, tremendous gains have been witnessed in the education and workforce. Nonetheless, progress has been uneven, and STEM disciplines remain overwhelmingly male.Even though the gender gap in STEM is narrowing, females continue to be less likely to pursue STEM careers compared to their male counterparts.Various explanation have been outlined for the observed underrepresentation of females in the STEM fields. There seem to be consensus that there could be many factors influencing women to take up STEM courses and that biological or gender ability is not the overriding factor in the underrepresentation of females in math-intensive fields. It is clear that this inequity will not resolve itself solely by more generations of women moving through the academic pipeline. Panelist will talk about a study by The African Academy of Sciences (The AAS) that aims to provide answers in for example, What are the facilitating and inhibiting factors for Women in STEM on the continent? What are the experiences of women who participate in science and technology fields as college students or faculty members? What strategies are in place or can be developed to help recruitment, retention, and success of young girls and women in scientific fields? And What are policy, legislative and organizational initiatives that can significantly reduce the gender gap in STEM in Africa?

2018-12-07T09:19:13+00:00