Today, on 11 February 2022, the members of EIROforum wish to celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
The Day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in order to promote full and equal access and participation for women and girls in science. Today is an opportunity to celebrate the essential role that women and girls play in science and technology.
Here are some of the initiatives and work that EIROforum members wish to highlight, this 11 February:
CERN’s popular annual celebration of Women and Girls in Science continues in 2022. A number of Women in STEM professions will inspire young students with visits to local schools during the week of 7 to 11 February. Women scientists and engineers from CERN, EPFL, UNIGE, and LAPP form an impressive network of role models and, possibly, future colleagues to the next generation of women in science! For the adults, a screening of the feature film Picture A Scientist followed by a panel discussion will take place on 10 February at 8pm in the Globe at CERN. Registration and the live webcast to the panel is here.
The European Molecular Biology Laboratory launched LEAP, the Leadership and Excellence for Aspiring Postdocs programme, in 2021, with the objective of supporting women in their postdoctoral years to access leadership positions in academia. The programme comprised bespoke workshops, 1-to-1 coaching, mentoring from EMBL alumna, and action learning. By the end of the programme, the participants confirmed that their professional confidence, their leadership voice, their interpersonal skills, and their networks had been significantly enhanced. Many of the LEAP participants have already found positions as Group Leaders upon completion of the programme.
This year, ESA will select a new crew of European astronauts. Whilst 24% applicants were female, a larger share of 39% female candidates has been selected by the Agency for the second phase. As ESA prepares its team of future astronauts, Samantha Cristoforetti is training for her second mission on board the ISS scheduled for April 2022, when she will serve as Commander, marking a milestone for a female European astronaut.
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) reaffirms its commitment to advancing gender equality, diversity and inclusion and during this week has highlighted roles, career paths and day-to-day work of women at ESO on the ESOblog and on social media. In the framework of the agreement signed with UN Women in 2020, ESO has joined their Second Chance programme and started to train women living in Chile in key astronomical technical skills, which will allow them to expand their job opportunities.
The ESRF, the European Synchrotron, signed 2 company agreements with our Staff Representatives, one supporting the inclusion of disabled workers in the workplace 2020-2022, and one regarding the Gender equity plan 2021-2023. In addition, to guarantee equal opportunities to its staff, the ESRF has developed with universities and schools a pedagogical programme dedicated to young girls, in order to encourage them to pursue a career in science or technology.
EUROfusion and the other institutions of the fusion industry are together setting up a global framework to represent, support and promote women in fusion all around the world. To increase the number of females in leadership roles, EUROfusion is striving to include in each selection committee/panel at least one or two women.
ILL‘s comprehensive approach to gender equality, through the signing of a company agreement and its significant ‘Professional Equality Index’ results, supports a number of initiatives to ensure that processes, policies and systems provide equal opportunities for women to be recruited, to thrive in and achieve leadership roles.
European XFEL continues to strive for equal gender opportunities and supports female scientists and engineers to pursue their careers in STEM. On the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we at the European XFEL want to declare our continuous efforts to attract and support female scientists and engineers and achieve a gender-balanced and diverse working environment. European XFEL participates in a mentoring program dynaMENT for female researchers in natural sciences to support female doctoral students and post-doctoral scientists in their career development. Furthermore, a girls day is organised annually to introduce European XFEL and its science to school girls to increase their interest in science at an early age.
To recognise these inspirational contributions, EIROforum members have reached out to the children in the lives of their staff, challenging them to tap into their artistic creativity to provide a drawing to celebrate the theme of ‘Women in Science’.
The response to our call was just as inspirational as the drawings themselves! The digital collage, above, has incorporated the young, creative contributions across the EIROforum membership to celebrate the day (the full-size drawings that were used in the digital collage, below).
We wish to thank all of our young artists for joining in the celebration of International Day of Women and Girls in Science!