In every issue of Beyond Imagining, we look at the ways in which the world around us is changing. Over the course of six issues to date, we have explored how the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is affecting our education and healthcare systems, our environment, our economies, our ethical understandings of technology, and how we communicate.
In every instance, we try to give voice to the innovators behind this enormous global shift. We highlight the work of individuals who are pioneering new developments no one could have imagined a few decades ago, we talk to the South Africans who are pushing boundaries locally, and we ask for experts’ advice so that we can understand the implications of these changes better.
In this, our latest issue (“Beyond Imagining issue 7 – Inside the women and 4IR issue”), we want to take this a step further, and focus specifically on the women who are being affected by 4IR, and the women who are innovating in this space.
Globally, women are vastly under-represented in fields relating to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), which form the foundation of 4IR. According to UNESCO, less than 30% of the researchers working in STEM are women. This figure is similar in South Africa, but complicated by the fact that socio-economic issues prevent women, more than men, from completing their secondary – let alone their tertiary – educations.
Those who defy the odds, and then go on to work in areas related to 4IR, are pioneers indeed. Read on to learn more about their roles, journeys and influence.