A panel discussion highlights the importance of gender equality to improve the quality of science, and quality of life for all scientists
This panel discussion features a group of experts who discusses the current policies and initiatives in place to address gender equality in their respective institutions and regions. The panel is moderated by Anita Chandran, from European XFEL, and the discussion provides valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities for advancing gender equality in the field of science.
The panel begins with a brief introduction from Professor Marie-Françoise Roy, who highlights the significance of the International Years actions on gender equality in science. She emphasizes the need for international and interdisciplinary efforts to reduce the gender gap in science and mentions the Gender Gap in Science Project, which focused on surveys, data analysis, and best practices to address this issue. She also mentions the Standing Committee for Gender Equality in Science as a permanent structure formed to promote gender equality in science.
Quotas and role models
The discussion then turns to the panelists, each of whom shares their perspectives and the policies in place at their institutions.
Professor Yvonne Bonzi Coulibaly, from Burkina Faso, highlights the challenges women face in accessing education and the need for policies that encourage girls to pursue science from an early age. She mentions initiatives such as girls’ quotas for high school admissions and scholarships for girls pursuing university education. Professor Coulibaly stresses the importance of local role models and academies to inspire girls to pursue scientific careers.
Starting at a early age
Melania Coletta, representing CERN, discusses the institution’s approach to gender equality. She emphasizes the significance of starting gender equality initiatives at an early age and mentions CERN’s outreach programs for teachers and students. CERN also has programs for female students, graduates, and those returning to science after career breaks. She introduces CERN’s 25 by 25 strategy, which aims to increase the percentage of women at CERN by 2025. Melania stresses the importance of collaboration among institutions to address gender inequality in STEM.
Dr. Fanny Eugène, who works for the Fonds de Recherches du Québec, shares the policies and initiatives aimed at supporting gender equality in research. She discusses parental leave policies for scholarship holders, implicit bias training for reviewers, and the consideration of sex and gender in research projects. Dr. Eugène highlights the transition from gender equality to a broader equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) strategy, which also addresses other dimensions of diversity and gender diversity.
Exchanging best practices
The panelists collectively underscore the importance of addressing gender equality in science and the need for comprehensive policies and initiatives. They emphasize the significance of starting early, addressing bias, and promoting role models to inspire the next generation of female scientists. The discussion also emphasizes the importance of international collaboration and a commitment to advancing gender equality in STEM fields.
Marie-Françoise Roy highlights the importance of exchanging best practices to reduce the gender gap and emphasizes the need for international networks and collaboration. She also discusses how gender equality issues in science can reveal broader social problems.
Empowering young girls
Yvonne Bonzi Coulibaly discusses the significance of role models and improving communication to encourage girls and young women to pursue scientific careers. She emphasizes that students should be empowered to ask questions and engage in scientific activities.
Melania Coletta emphasizes the difference between gender equality and equity, underscoring the need for organizations to apply equitable principles to create a more inclusive environment. She highlightes the advantages of diversity and inclusion, especially in advancing scientific research and innovation.
All diversities are important
Fanny Eugène discusses the challenges in addressing stereotypes and norms in academia, particularly in fields like health, and the importance of promoting diversity in research topics to expand the knowledge base.
The panelists also discuss the importance of addressing biases, encouraging cultural changes, and the role of scientists in promoting gender equality. They touch on specific issues such as maternity leave, recruitment processes, and the impact of resistance to gender equality initiatives.
Overall, the panel discussion shed light on the multifaceted nature of gender equality issues in the scientific community, highlighting the importance of international collaboration, the need to address cultural resistance, and the benefits of promoting diversity and equity in science.