• Women in science

  • Increasing the participation of women in science

  • Women in science

    Increasing the participation of women in science

    DEFEND shares the EC’s view that equality between women and men is a fundamental EU value.

    The DEFEND consortium aims to promote equality between men and women in all its activities, and, more broadly, to pursue sustainable structural and cultural change to advance gender equality. These aims will be guided by policies such as those outlined in EC’s Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019

    The DEFEND project will undertake practical activities to increase the participation of women in science.

    Best practice guidelines are provided for the design of DEFEND activities in order to promote gender equality, and female leadership in the DEFEND consortium is made clearly visible. Female scientists in leadership positions are valuable role models for all scientists, especially early career female scientists who may strive for such a position in the future.

    Gender equality activities that have been undertaken in DEFEND:

    • DEFEND Gender Equality Action Plan
    • Information about gender equality has been shared via the DEFEND website.
    • There was a discussion during the consortium kick-off meeting focused on the participation and promotion of women within scientific fields.
    • Financial support to cover additional caring responsibilities has been and will continue to be provided to consortium members attending DEFEND conferences.
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  • Further Information

    Resources to explore

    For further information about gender equality: https://eige.europa.eu/

    Equality Challenge Unit UK: https://www.ecu.ac.uk/

    For further information about gender equality in academia:

    European Institute for Gender Equality:

    European Platform of Women Scientists:


    The Royal Society of Edinburgh:

    Seven Actionable Strategies for Advancing Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2015.02.012

    Tapping All of Our Talents Review 2018: https://www.rse.org.uk/inquiries/womeninstem-2018/ Published by the Royal Society of Edinburgh in November 2018, Tapping All of Our Talents Review 2018 examines the progress that has been made on increasing the proportion of women working and studying in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in Scotland. It builds on the RSE’s 2012 original “Tapping Talents” report of women in STEM in Scotland.

    WIAReport: https://www.wiareport.com/ Women in Academia Report is a website focused on the progress of women in academia, particularly the United States. It announces significant appointments of women to positions of influence in higher education, reports important awards and grants to women scholars, and reviews and provides a database of books of importance to women in higher education.

    Women Leaders in Global Health conference: https://www.wlghconference.org/ The Women Leaders in Global Health conference took place on 8-9 November 2018 at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. The WLGH conference brings leaders from across sectors and cultures to work towards gender equity in health leadership and to improve health for all. Podcasts featuring key participants are available on the website.

    BBC 100 Women 2018: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-46225037 Each year the BBC announces a list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world. The 2018 list includes the scientists (details taken from BBC website):

    • Frances Arnold – Professor of chemical engineering, bioengineering and biochemistry, US. Frances is the recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
    • Asha de Vos – Marine biologist, Sri Lanka. Asha works in the area of marine conservation to increase diversity, inclusivity and opportunity in the field.
    • Fabiola Gianotti – Particle physicist, Italy. Fabiola is a particle physicist and became director general of Cern, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in 2016.
    • Yuki Okoda – Astronomer, Japan. Yuki studies physics, and was the first person to discover a new star that could shed light on the origins of our solar system.
    • Donna Strickland – Professor of physics, Canada. Donna is a professor of physics at the University of Waterloo in Canada and is one of the recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018.
    • Gladys West – Mathematician, USA. Gladys is a former teacher and mathematician whose work has recently been recognised as instrumental in developing GPS.

    Conferences on gender equality:


    Women in STEM Conference – 24th November 2021

    The Women in STEM Conference 2021 will explore the next steps for employers and education providers to support recruitment, retention, and the overall advancement of Women in STEM.

    6th International Conference for Women in Science Without Borders, Nairobi, Kenya – 3-5 November 2021

    The conference, with the theme “Building a Gender Inclusive Sustainable Future Through Science, Technology and Innovation” will be an opportunity to highlight the role of science in building a sustainable future for all through science, technology, and innovation.



    World forum for women in science will take place Monday 10th – Friday 14th February 2020 at the  Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Brazilian centre for Research in Physics, Brazil. http://www.abc.org.br/en/evento/wfwsbr20/

    Gender Equality Academy- Workshop: Participatory methods of gender equality in science will take place on Thursday 16th April 2020 at Technische Universitat Wien, Vienna, Austria. https://eige.europa.eu/events/event/17017

    Women in science Conference 2020 will take place on Thursday 21st May, Central London, Venue to be confirmed.  https://stemwomenconference.co.uk/

    18th International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists (ICWES 18) will take place at the University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom, from Friday 11th to Monday 14th September 2020. https://warwick.ac.uk/services/conferences/icwes18/


    WISE Conference 2019 will take place on Tuesday 14 May – The IET, Savoy Place, London https://www.wisecampaign.org.uk/what-we-do/wise-events/

    3rd International Women in Science without Borders (WISWB) Conference will take place 12-14 March 2019 in Egypt https://globalyoungacademy.net/events/3rd-women-in-science-without-borders-conference/

    WISE Conference 2019 will take place on Tuesday 14 May – The IET, Savoy Place, London https://www.wisecampaign.org.uk/what-we-do/wise-events/

    Dr Pip Beard represented DEFEND at the “Research and Innovation Excellence through gender equality: New pathways and challenges” conference in Helsinki 23 Oct 19 https://www.lyyti.fi/p/NEWPATHWAYS/en/welcome.

    The 2019 Women Leaders in Global Health conference will take place in Kigali, Rwanda on 7-8 November 2019  https://www.wlghconference.org/




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