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Women in Science

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Video clip: Priyanka talks about how boys are encouraged ‘to give it a go’ and the additional pressure of being a female minority.

I would say yes, I do. But it’s just - it’s up to me whether I want to take advantage of those opportunities or not and having the confidence to apply even, even when I don’t meet a 100% of the criteria which is, I think somewhere were women fall behind or they get delayed because we’re so conscientious about, you know, I have to be either a 100% or more than a 100% of the criteria whereas the studies show that, you know, men if they meet 60 %, you know, they just give it a go. And so much of that has to do with being comfortable with failure and because of, again because of how gendered our world is and how we raise boys and girls I think from a very young age if a girl does well at school, you know, she’s told you’re so smart, you’re brilliant and we begin to associate this as an intrinsic quality and so we don’t tend to go for things where we’re likely to fail or if there’s a possibility of failing because that then contradicts this belief that, you know, our intelligence is innate, something that we’re born with and not something we work at and I think it’s a little bit different from how boys are raised and how they’re educated as well because they’re, you know, they’re just kind of encouraged to give it a go and if it doesn’t work out you just try again.


And on top of that there’s this additional pressure of being a female minority already so you feel like sometimes you feel like you are carrying the weight of your gender on your shoulders and if you fail then, you know, it’s because either you’re not, you weren’t good enough to be here in the first place or it’s because women, maybe they’re not well suited for this in the first place, so those kind of beliefs come into play. So yeah I think it does make a difference to how likely you are to go for, to take a big risk and go for something where there’s a high chance of failure like a fellowship application has such low acceptance rates.