India is set to become the world's most populous nation and has the potential to be a scientific powerhouse. To speed the process, it will need to develop innovative solutions for advancing women's careers and participation in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).
Despite commendable initiatives by government departments and science academies (see 2015), India so far has no comprehensive national programme for encouraging institutions to undertake active gender-equality measures. It could learn from schemes elsewhere, such as the Equality Challenge Unit's Athena SWAN Charter in Britain and Ireland (go.nature.com/2jnbvt4) and the government-supported Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) pilot initiative led by Australian science academies (go.nature.com/2jz2wyk).and in Women in Science and Technology in Asia; AASSA,
A workshop convened last year by the Australian, Indian and UK governments resulted in cross-national recommendations for achieving gender equality in STEMM (see go.nature.com/2kg2hkt). We hope that these will spur efforts by the scientific community and the government of India to implement them in cooperation with similar initiatives in other countries.