Athena Swan

Athena Swan promotes and supports the careers of women in Science, Engineering and Technology (STEM), and aims to address gender inequalities and imbalance in these disciplines and, in particular, the under-representation of women in senior roles.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

In the news - Ten Simple Rules to Achieve Conference Speaker Gender Balance

For those who think gender balance is all too much like hard work, here are ten ways a few small changes can make big improvements at one of the most public science stages - conferences:

Recently, the quantum molecular science world was in uproar [1], [2]. The preliminary list of approximately 25 speakers for the International Congress of Quantum Chemistry (ICQC) was published online, with no women speakers listed. One reaction to this list was to set up a petition to “condemn gender-biased discriminatory practices of which ICQC-2015 is the most recent example” [3]. This resulted in an apology and a new speaker list with six women speakers [4].
Sadly though, this is not an isolated incident: men-only invited conference speaker lists are all too common [5].
How can we get gender balance right? To begin with, it's worth reminding ourselves why gender balance is important.

Read more here.

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