No women received Nobel Prizes for science, widening awards' gender gap

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Despite the Nobel committee pledging to be more inclusive, no women scientists were nominated for an award this year, widening the gender gap for achievement, reported Newsweek Oct. 7. 

In 2020, the first ever all-women team of scientists won the Nobel prize for chemistry for the development of a genome editing method. In the 120 years since the prize's inception, however, only 58 women in all Nobel prize categories have been awarded the prestigious honor compared to 876 men. 

The sciences reveal an even sharper divide, with only 12 women being awarded prizes in the field of medicine out of the 224 winners in that category. Only seven women have won in the field of chemistry out of the 188 total winners. "It is not a lack of women scientists, it is not lack of talent," Teresa Valdés-Solís, PhD, a researcher at Instituto Nacional del Carbón in Spain, told Newsweek. Despite the number of women scientists increasing over the years, the gender divide in recognition is still apparent. 

"These gender imbalances are perpetuated with the numbers, and despite the efforts from the Nobel committee, further work is needed. Otherwise, more women will eventually leave their fields because of the lack of opportunities and the lack of recognition and visibility for their investigations," Luz Ángela García, PhD, an astrophysicist at Universidad ECCI in Bogota, Colombia, told Newsweek.

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