Tagged / Women in Science

Women in Coastal Geoscience and Engineering (WICGE) Network

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Panel discussion, launch of the WICGE network on 8 Mar 2016 (Sydney, Australia). From left to right: Professor Robin Davidson-Arnott (University of Guelph, Canada), Dr Luciana S. Esteves (Bournemouth University, UK), Dr Shari Gallop (Macquarie University, Australia) and Professor Julie Cairney (School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, University of Sydney).

I am very proud of being one of the founding members of the Women in Coastal Geoscience and Engineering (WICGE) network, officially launched on 8 March 2016 during the 14th International Coastal Symposium in Sydney, Australia. The idea to create WICGE was led by Dr Shari Gallop (Macquarie University, Australia) and Dr Ana Vila-Concejo (University of Sydney), who was also the first women to chair the International Coastal Symposium (the largest conference focused on coastal science). To join WICGE or just to find out more, please click here.

The event was attended by about 70 conference attendees (male and female as you can see in the photo) and it created an opportunity for the keynote (Prof Julie Cairney), the members of the discussion panel (named in the photo caption)  and attendees to shared their experiences. It was interesting to learn that members of the panel, including myself, expressed that they were not aware of gender inequalities and/or discrimination in their work environment at first. The reasons for this late realisation were varied, including a common feeling of ‘I thought I was the problem‘ or the simple acceptance that certain attitude towards woman was just ‘as always is‘. As Shari Gallop indicates in this blog about the WICGE launch, another contributing factor may be the fact that, in the academic environment, the imbalance greatly increases towards the more senior positions and is not as evident at early career stages.

Another common theme in the discussion was that we (men and women) are guilty of unconscious bias, a prejudice deep-rooted in long-established social behaviours, which are now increasingly questioned, but changing incredibly slowly.  Most people (and therefore our society) are stubbornly averse to change. Where and when change is required, it does not come easy; it takes huge effort and time to get the message across. Even when we understand the need for change, it may take a while until we are able to embed in our lives new ways of doing (or being). It becomes evident then the importance played by continuing and widening the open debate about diversity, equality and fairness to raise awareness and educating us all, especially about the little things we can do to make the big changes we need. And this is why we need WAN, WICGE , the Aurora Programme, Athena Swan and the growing number of initiatives aiming to promote equal opportunities and a fairer working environment for all of us.

Luciana S. Esteves, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Life & Environmental Sciences

Open letter highlighting the need for more women in science

Sex Discrimination Act 1975

Open letter to the Financial Times and the London Evening Standard

12 November 2015

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Sex Discrimination Act being passed in the UK. We applaud the progress that has been made since.

But in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), progress remains slow. Women make up just 14 per cent of the UK’s STEM workforce. We want to see this be nearer 30 per cent by 2020.

It’s not the quality of our female scientists or engineers that’s the issue. Girls are outperforming boys at school in STEM subjects, but we’re losing girls at every stage between the classroom and the boardroom. The challenge is attracting, retaining and promoting female talent in the workforce.

We need to inspire more girls to choose STEM qualifications as a route into fulfilling careers that benefit themselves, future employers and our economy. Changing the messages we give girls about STEM at school and at home, and identifying more positive role models, is the first step to achieving this.

But to be successful, this must be backed by strong public policy. We challenge the government to provide a clear commitment to accelerate diversity in our STEM industries.

We cannot afford to wait another forty years to achieve this change.

Signed:

Christine Flounders
Research and Development Manager in London, Bloomberg

Naomi Climer
President, Institution of Engineering and Technology

Trudy Norris-Grey
Chair, WISE Campaign

Catherine Mayer
Co-founder, Women’s Equality Party

APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR 2015 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO UK & IRELAND ‘FELLOWSHIPS FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE’

Applications for the L’Oréal-UNESCO UK and Ireland Fellowships For Women In Science will open on 2nd February 2015. Four outstanding female post-doctoral scientists in the UK or Ireland will be granted a fellowship worth £15,000 each. The finalists will be selected by a panel of eminent scientists chaired by Professor Pratibha Gai, including Professor John Pethica FRS andProfessor Anne Glover. Entries can be made at www.womeninscience.co.uk.

The L’Oréal-UNESCO UK and Ireland Fellowships For Women In Science were launched in 2007 and provide flexible and practical help to female post-doctoral researchers. The winners may choose to spend their fellowship grants in any way that is helpful to them in furthering their research, from buying lab equipment, to hiring an assistant or paying for childcare costs.

Professor Pratibha Gai of the University of York and the 2013 L’Oréal-UNESCO International For Women In Science European Laureate will Chair the 2015 UK and Ireland awards. Prof Gai commented, “I am excited to be chairing this year’s judging panel. I am passionate about giving young women every opportunity to excel in their science research. These highly prestigious awards not only recognise the extraordinary range and quality of research being carried out by female scientists in the UK and Ireland today, but are unique in their flexibility for early career female researchers.”

The 2015 awards will be adjudicated by a panel of eminent scientists. Katriona Methven, Scientific Director at L’Oréal UK & Ireland said: “The For Women in Science programme in the UK and Ireland provides essential support for women at a vital stage in their career. Now in its 17th year internationally, the global initiative promotes women in science as important role models to inspire a new generation of young scientists.”

The closing date for applications to the 2015 L’Oréal-UNESCO UK and Ireland Fellowships For Women In Science is Friday 13th March 2015. For further information and to apply, please visit: www.womeninscience.co.uk

The programme is run in partnership with the UK National Commission for UNESCO and the Irish National Commission for UNESCO, with the support of the Royal Society.

For more information from the funder, please contact:

Katy Gandon/ katy.gandon@loreal.com

0208 762 4136/ 07825 119 568

If you are thinking of applying, please contact your  RKEO Funding Development Officer who will help you through the process.