Identities, Culture and Transnational Learning: Being Malaysian Women Medical Researchers

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 10:45 AM
Room: 302
Oral Presentation
Cynthia JOSEPH , Faculty of Education, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
In spite of being half of the population of the world, having increased access to education and increased labour force participation, women continue to dominate traditional fields in education, health and welfare, social sciences, business and law, and humanities and arts (OECD 2011; UN, 2010) and are still severely underrepresented in science, engineering, technology and emergent industries, accounting for only slightly more than a quarter of all scientific researchers (Hawkins & Ronchi , 2008; OECD, 2011).There is loss of productivity and human capital, and monetary loss when women’s potential is fully harnessed. This paper is based on a pilot study looking on the intersectionality of culture, global networks and innovation, investigates the identity practices of a group of Malaysian women medical researchers.  It examines the ways in which ethnicity, social relations and power dynamics within the medical research sector shapes this group of highly skilled Malaysian women`s identities working in this research sector and their access to resources and opportunities. The findings will contribute to an initial framework of transcultural identities and transnational learning in knowledge-intensive industries.  The discussion also considers an initial framework for understanding socio-cultural and scientific dimensions of new industries, and higher level skills vital for women’s successful participation in the global economy.