International Day of Women in Science: resources
Today I attended an event at UNESCO in Paris, in occasion of the international day of women in science.
The event was brilliant. A keynote talk by Catherine Jami (CNRS) on Some aspects of research by social scientists on the gender gap in science [the picture of this post is from one of her slides], followed by a panel discussion and lots of space for discussion, welcoming questions and interventions from the audience. Men and women within policy making bodies, diplomats, scientists, interested in gender gap in science, in what data tell us, in which further data do we need, in which actions can be recommended.
Topics raised include:
- systemic issue in university bodies, also related to postdoc positions
- evaluation panels
- individual vs network initiatives
- age limit in fellowships (audience seemed unanimously against)
- equal opportunities
- conferences: promote good practices and fair representativity at meetings
As a scientist, I came across resources along the years that I'd like to keep track of, for me and for whoever will find it useful. Here is a list:
She Figures 2018, report and European data by the European Commission
A Global Approach to the Gender Gap in Mathematical, Computing, and Natural Sciences, report 2020 of Gender Gap in Science, funded by the International Science Council
A Global Approach to the Gender Gap in Mathematical, Computing, and Natural Sciences includes methodologies, tools and recommendations for different audiences
500 women scientists: database of women scientists (US + local pods)
Supernova Foundation, a worldwide mentoring program for women in physics (for which I am mentor)
Women in Machine Learning, @WiMLDS_Paris meetup
Other Blog posts on the topic:
Suggestions for low cost actions:
As much as big actions can lead to a breakthrough, small actions from recognised networks have impact. My personal suggestions:
I bet most of us have found themselves in the Diderot Esprit d'escalier. When you just can't find the right words and you keep rethinking afterwords about what you could have said. I proposed at the UNESCO meeting to provide a FAQ page, including good answers to common stereotypes, with reference to data, as a resource for all men and women who may not be expert in gender bias data but would like to give a thoughtful answer to common comments.
As scientists, we know that ensuring that conferences, meetings, panels, are fairly representative, takes time and effort. Can we recognise it, promote and value this effort with a stamp for good practices, if your meeting meets some pre-defined minimal requirements? Similarly to what UNESCO does for heritage patrimony, can we also recognise good practices?