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Consultancy for the development of research on the participation of women in the STEM sector in Latin America and the Caribbean and elaboration of a programmatic proposal
|Advertised on behalf of :|
|Location :||Home Based, URUGUAY|
|Application Deadline :||28-Jun-19 (Midnight New York, USA)|
|Type of Contract :||Individual Contract|
|Post Level :||National Consultant|
|Languages Required :|
|Duration of Initial Contract :||3.5 months|
The Latin American region has experienced a sustained economic expansion in the last 15 years, along with a decrease in income inequality, and a growing incorporation of women into the labor market. However, these positive balances are undermined by the structural challenges that the region has yet to overcome. Gender gaps have remained relatively stable, despite economic development, as one of the pending key issues. Even more worrisome is that in this period, despite the distance between men and women has decreased in terms of wage gaps, a great stratification occurred among women who distanced themselves from each other (Progress LAC 2017) and occupational segregation is very marked, both horizontally and vertically. As in other sectors of the economy, gender gaps are present in ICTs and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), globally women represent 30% of the staff operative technician, only 15% of the managerial level and only 11% of the planning professionals.
Similarly, data from the countries of the region show the deep inequality that exists and even a setback in this area. The percentage of women working in the field of STEM is much lower than that of men. 33% in Uruguay, 29% in Argentina, 23% in Mexico or 32% in Brazil are just some examples of the labor participation of women with respect to the total number of workers in this area.
The work in STEM can make a sustainable development reality, improving the lives of people, promoting the prosperity and protection of the planet. However, the rapid technological evolution entails the introduction of new political challenges, creating winners and losers in societies and presenting new ethical and moral dilemmas.
The 2030 Agenda identifies that "the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will contribute decisively to progress towards all goals and objectives. It is not possible to realize all the human potential and achieve sustainable development if we continue denying half of humanity the full enjoyment of human rights and their opportunities" (United Nations, 2015). The work, jointly, in STEM and Gender will contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, since the empowerment of women and girls is fundamental to boost economic growth and promote social development. As pointed out in a publication of OPP (Uruguay Office of Planning and Budget) "The low participation of women in science, technology and innovation, is a problem of justice (...) Increase human capital in this field of knowledge is a priority (...) and low Women's participation has a direct impact on the possibilities of developing this field of knowledge, as well as on deploying the development strategy of the region".
In this regard, UN Women seeks to accelerate the reduction of gender gaps in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics at all levels of education and research. It is therefore necessary to contribute to the promotion of women and girls in STEM, support key stakeholders in designing and implementing policies for gender equality and access to evidence to evaluate policies using disaggregated data gathering new information on drivers and barriers in STEM.
2. REGIONAL BACKGROUND
Although there are not many data on STEM in the Latin American and Caribbean region jointly, there is firm evidence about the costs to the region of the low participation of women in this area. For example, in Mexico, it has been determined that if gender inequality is eliminated in achieving high academic degrees, the country would have an increase in scientific productivity between 17% and 20%.
The gaps are evident from very early stages, girls are increasingly focusing on fields further away from STEM-related studies. According to a study by the UNESCO (2016) in the region, girls tend to do better in math than boys in third grade, but this advantage diminishes towards sixth grade. The patterns are accentuated when you get to college, where women are concentrated in social sciences and in certain areas of natural or medical sciences and have limited presence in STEM; this difference is even greater in postgraduate studies.
In research, it can be seen how in the region the gender gap has been reduced in the public sphere (government and higher education), where women represent around 40% of the total number of researchers. However, this is not the case in the private sector, where women are 20% and 30% of the total.
As for patents, only 27.8% of the patents developed in the region include at least one woman inventor. This gap is even more pronounced in some countries such as Ecuador, where patents in which women have participated represent only 9% of the total.
Girls and women face numerous challenges in accessing educational opportunities, which is accentuated in the field of STEM. It is extremely important and a priority to address this difference, since it is precisely in this field where it seems that the jobs of the future and sustainable growth will be found. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education has a vital role to play in this transformation as it underpins the 2030 Agenda. Advances in STEM have already brought about improvements in many aspects of life, such as health, agriculture, infrastructure and renewable energy. STEM education is also key for preparing students for the world of work, enabling entry into in-demand STEM careers of tomorrow.
In this sense, a report from the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) points out that gaps in education, women in care and humanities sectors and men in engineering and science, tend to remain in the labor market. This report also provides a revealing data, ending this gender gap and getting women to access studies and professions related to the STEM field could mean GDP growth of up to 0.9% in 2030 and 3% in 2050 As a result, 1.2 million jobs will be created.
In primary education, science and mathematics are part of the core curriculum globally and it is expected that both girls and boys have the same exposure to these subjects, although the amount of time differs widely between regions and countries. In many contexts, sex-role stereotyping is reinforced at this age range.
The gender gap in STEM participation becomes more apparent in lower secondary education. This is when specialization begins, and students make choices about which subjects to study. Furthermore, in many contexts, girls appear to lose interest in STEM subjects with age and more than boys do. For this reason, it is necessary to act on this age range, since it represents the critical point where differentiation occurs in terms of the interest and performance of children in the field of STEM.
A study in the United Kingdom (UK) found that, at age 10-11 years, boys and girls were almost equally engaged with STEM, with 75% of boys and 72% of girls reporting that they learned interesting things in science. By the age of 18, this proportion fell to 33% for boys and 19% for girls, as measured by participation in STEM advanced studies. Here, boys began dropping out of STEM subjects as they approached their advanced level studies, whereas girls decided to drop out much earlier in secondary school. A longitudinal study with Swedish youth also found that their career aspirations were largely formed by age 13, and that it would be progressively more difficult to engage students in science after that age. Those who have studied STEM subjects at advanced levels in upper secondary are more likely to move on to STEM-related degree programmes in higher education.
Regardless of the level of studies, exposure to STEM and intentions do not always guarantee the continuation of STEM studies. For example, girls may consider not to choose educational pathways that lead to occupations where few women are employed or to occupations perceived to be difficult to combine with family life. It is necessary to consider the multiple factors and the intersectionality that the education of the youngest one’s crosses, to try to reduce the reproduction of traditional cultural roles and stereotypes that limit learning of the girls in the STEM area.
Considering the context and the existing gaps, there are great challenges and opportunities to generate transcendent changes through the promotion of the equal participation of men and women in the area of STEM and the ICT sector. It is necessary to articulate initiatives aimed at the government, civil society and the private sector and promote the exchange of good practices among countries, in this sense focused on achieving real equality at all levels of the life cycle, from primary school up to access to high positions of women. Special emphasis not only from the top down, but also approaches the bottom up to correct imbalances, from primary education and considering the differences between countries, it is necessary to propose different and diverse approaches, working in all the stages of the life cycle.
The lines of action identified in the area of STEM, ICTs and Gender point the 4 pillars to work with: Data, Social Norms, Education and Business.
 Mujeres en Ciencia, tecnología e innovación, un problema de justicia. Pág. 50 http://184.108.40.206/images/genero/mujerescienciaytecnologia.pdf
 Cracking the code: Girl’s and women’s education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Unesco, 2017.
 Economic benefits of gender equality in the EU: How gender equality in STEM education leads to economic growth, EIGE, 2017.
 A.T.Kerney and YourLife. 2016. Tough Choices: The Real Reasons A-level Students are Steering Clear of Science and Maths. A.T.Kerney. https://www.atkearney.com/ documents/10192/7390617/Tough+Choices.pdf/a7408b93-248c-4b97-ac1e-b66db4645471
 Lindahl, B. 2007. A longitudinal study of students’ attitudes towards science and choice of career. Paper presented at the 80th session of the International Conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, New Orleans, LA. Cited in: Tytler, R. 2014. Attitudes, Identities and Aspirations towards Science. N. G. Lederman and S. K. Abell (eds), Handbook of Research on Science Education, Vol. 2. New York, Routledge, p.91.
Duties and Responsibilities
3. OBJECTIVE OF THE CONSULTANCY
4. ACTIVITIES NECESSARY FOR REACHING THE OBJECTIVE
The main functions that the contractor must fulfill are the following:
5. EXPECTED OUTPUTS AND PAYMENT TERMS
Payments will be made according to the following schedule in USD and will be disbursed within 30 days of the submission and approval of the products as follows:
The estimated time for review and feedback of the products will be of 10 days. However, time may vary on a case by case basis considering all the team members and external group of experts who will also review the products. Once the feedback is given, the consultant will have 10 days to incorporate the changes.
Responsibility of the consultant
Supervision of the consultant
The consultant will be supervised by the Country Coordinator of UN Women office in Uruguay and the Policy Specialist of Economic Empowerment of UN Women Americas and the Caribbean Regional Office in Panama.
COPYRIGHT, PATENTS AND OTHER PROPIETARY RIGHTS
Except as is otherwise expressly provided in writing in the Contract, the UNW shall be entitled to all intellectual property and other proprietary rights including, but not limited to, patents, copyrights, and trademarks, with regard to products, processes, inventions, ideas, know-how, or documents and other materials which the Contractor has developed for the UNW under the Contract and which bear a direct relation to or are produced or prepared or collected in consequence of, or during the course of, the performance of the Contract, and the Contractor acknowledges and agrees that such products, documents and other materials constitute works made for hire for the UNW.
To the extent that any such intellectual property or other proprietary rights consist of any intellectual property or other proprietary rights of the Contractor: (i) that pre-existed the performance by the Contractor of its obligations under the Contract, or (ii) that the Contractor may develop or acquire, or may have developed or acquired, independently of the performance of its obligations under the Contract, the UNW does not and shall not claim any ownership interest thereto, and the Contractor grants to the UND a perpetual license to use such intellectual property or other proprietary right solely for the purposes of and in accordance with the requirements of the Contract.
At the request of the UNW; the Contractor shall take all necessary steps, execute all necessary documents and generally assist in securing such proprietary rights and transferring or licensing them to the UNW in compliance with the requirements of the applicable law and of the Contract.
Subject to the foregoing provisions, all maps, drawings, photographs, mosaics, plans, reports, estimates, recommendations, documents, and all other data compiled by or received by the Contractor under the Contract shall be the property of the UNW, shall be made available for use or inspection by the UNW at reasonable times and in reasonable places, shall be treated as confidential, and shall be delivered only to UNW authorized officials on completion of work under the Contract.
6. PROFILE OF THE CONSULTANT
* Leading by Example
Required Skills and Experience
7. SELECTION PROCESS
The evaluation will follow several steps as indicated below:
Before undertaking a detailed evaluation of each offer by the Evaluation Committee, a preliminary examination of the offers will take place to assess whether the proposal meets the minimum requirements indicated in the present terms of reference. Offers will not be considered for further evaluation in the cases when:
Offers that are incomplete, clearly not compatible, or that contain substantive deviations from the terms of reference and conditions of the contract, can at UN Women’s discretion, be rejected or excluded from consideration at whatever time during the evaluation process, including after the preliminary evaluation.
The evaluation of the technical aspects will be done according to the following methodology: meeting the requirements – most economic quality/price.
In this sense, the offers will be evaluated according to whether they comply with the minimum requirements specified in the terms of reference.
The consultants who pass the preliminary evaluation and the criteria of academic training and experience, will be called for an interview to check on the criteria of knowledge and other requirements.
Only those who obtain the necessary points will be considered eligible for a financial evaluation.
The recommendation to accept an offer will be based on the most economic price/cost, provided all the minimum requirements have been met.
The following evaluation table will be used:
Deadline for submission of applications is June 28th 2019. Interested candidates must submit the following documentation in the UNDP Jobs platform:
All applications must include only one attachment that consists of all the documents requested. Applications without complete and duly signed P11 will not be considered for evaluation and will be treated as incomplete.
Please combine all your documents into one (1) single PDF document as the system only allows to upload maximum one document
Only the candidates selected for the short list will be contacted. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.