Professor Rose Mama Entsua-Mensah, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) said, she has a lot of respect for female scientists as their work life balance was not an easy one to maneuver.
She said “though we’re living in the man’s world, female scientists are trying to break the glass ceilings, as some achievements of female scientists are glossed over.
Prof Entsua-Mensah was speaking at a two-day workshop organised by the Water Research Institute (WRI) of the CSIR to empower women in science.
The workshop, which was on the theme: Empowering Women in Science: “Strategies to Eliminate Challenges of Early Career Ghanaian Women in the Science Face: Grantsmanship and Sustaining Research,” is funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry, United Kingdom, and brought together participants across the country.
The participants were taken through Publish or Perish: Strategies to facilitate publication output, Mentoring effective mentor- mentee relationship and Opportunities available to early and mid-career researchers for growth, impact and visibility.
Other topics included; Multiple- role occupancy for a female research scientist, Striking a balance-family life/research career, Establishing good research collaborations and Grantsmanship: step to develop and write a winning grant proposal.
The workshop also seeks to enhance the prospects of early career Ghanaian women in science and academia by providing them with the basics of grantsmanship, and ways to develop their research careers and afford participants the opportunity to interact with some of the most successful women in science.
She said women who worked with a lot of men helped them to go far, even when it was writing papers, but never bothered to put their names on the papers.
Prof Entsua-Mensah said mentorship was key and played a major role in the guidance of female scientists who faced difficulty in moving on with their career as young scientists.
She said young female scientists who were lucky to have good mentors succeed in their career for having networks, publishing papers in journals, or sometimes working under a senior person when starting their career.
Prof Entsua-Mensah revealed that the workshop would help young women to learn how to write proposals as it played a major role in research work because of project funding which puts young female Scientists at a disadvantage.
Prof. Mike Osei-Tweneboana, Director of the WRI- CSIR said the early career women in academia and science, was faced with several challenges that undermined their involvement and development in scientific research and marginalized their professional career.
He said, although women in Ghana made tremendous gains in entering science professions, they remained under represented, and estimated to be less than 15 per cent of scientific professionals.
Prof. Osei-Tweneboana said few women scientists possessed the know how to sustain their research career, including; obtaining research grants to build their career and that it therefore called for a conscious effort at mainstreaming gender in the development of scientific career to ensure gender equality.
He expressed the hope that the workshop would provide adequate knowledge to enhance the career development of young ladies Scientists to identify unique opportunities globally to advance their career, identify mentors to guide them through their career choices, develop, sustain and advance their research career through collaborative efforts and progress to become an independent scientist and find a balance between family and career responsibilities.
“As a director, I would love to see my young ladies scientists become independent lead investigators and mentors to many and I hope that the workshop would ignite the energies in the young ladies scientists to propel them into full flight scientific professional.
Resource persons included; Prof. Mary Boadu, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Prof. Mary Obodai, Food Research Institute of the CSIR, Prof Marian Nkansah, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), DR Mercy Badu, KNUST, Dr Edem Mahu, University of Ghana and Dr Ruby Asmah, CSIR.
The CSIR-Water Research Institute is one of the 13 Research Institutes of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, with the mandate to conduct research into all aspects of water resources in order to provide scientific and technological information and services.
The Institute developed Strategies, technologies and provided services for sustainable development, utilization and management of water resources to support the socio-economic advancement of the country.