The National Academies released a report — The Impact of COVID-19 on the Careers of Women in Academic Science, Engineering, and Medicine — that explores how the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the careers of women in STEM in 2020 and considers how these disruptions might shape their future progress.
The spring of 2020 marked a change in how almost everyone conducted their personal and professional lives, both within science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) and beyond. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted global scientific conferences and individual laboratories and required people to find space in their homes from which to work. It blurred the boundaries between work and non-work, infusing ambiguity into everyday activities. While adaptations that allowed people to connect became more common, the evidence available at the end of 2020 suggests that the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic endangered the engagement, experience, and retention of women in academic STEMM, and may roll back some of the achievement gains made by women in the academy to date.