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The schoolgirls changing the world, one toy at a time

Posted By Administration, 04 August 2015
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Women in Graphene network launched

Posted By Administration, 10 July 2015

9 July 2015, Alpha Galileo - Graphene Week 2015 in Manchester last month saw the launch of Women in Graphene, a support network for women in graphene and related 2d materials research. As in other areas of science and engineering, women make up significant proportion of the 2d materials workforce, but they face a number of gender-specific barriers to career progression.

A fringe meeting on the Wednesday afternoon of Graphene Week was held to start a conversation among women and men in graphene research about issues peculiar to women in the 2d materials community. Organised by Graphene Flagship administrator Katarina Boustedt, with presentations from flagship executive members Annick Loiseau and Mar Garcia-Hernández, the launch of Women in Graphene was given largely to an informal discussion among those present. Women and men together reported their experiences, and floated possible solutions to problems faced by women in graphene research.

“The Graphene Flagship, extending as it does over 10 years, and incorporating many European countries, is an ideal observatory for studying the progress of women in the field,” says Garcia-Hernández. “It should not be difficult to provide figures grouped by gender on the scientific contribution of women to the flagship, including in events such as Graphene Week.”

Loiseau spoke of her 35 years in scientific research. There are many women working in physics, she said, but they are mostly at junior level. There is a vanishingly small number of women at professorial level, and women hesitate to apply for more senior positions owing to a fear of being questioned about such matters as childcare. This must be tackled from the start of the hiring process, said Loiseau, and it includes the makeup of selection committees.

Given that the launch of Women in Graphene took place during Graphene Week, conference chair Cinzia Casiraghi provided an overview of the delegate distribution. Of the registered attendees at Graphene Week this year, 23% were women and 77% men. There were very few women among the invited speakers.

“Solutions must be found to correct this imbalance in future events organised by the flagship,” says Loiseau. “Going by experience, there should always be women members on advisory boards and organisation committees, and the selection of women speakers should be considered from the outset, as one criterion among others.”

Ideas floated at the Women in Graphene launch include pastoral support and mentoring. This would be along the lines of programmes already offered by more established groups such as the Athena SWAN network. Another proposal is a structured careers advice service for women, with particular attention given to maternity leave and career breaks. Paternity leave should also be considered, with male scientists encouraged to use their childcare entitlements.

The consensus among those present at the Women in Graphene launch is that women in the 2d materials community should communicate with each other in areas of common concern. This could be facilitated through social gatherings at conferences, and online discussion forums.

Tags:  graphene 

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Why we need 'gendered research and innovation'

Posted By Administration, 12 June 2015

Click here to read the article by the League of European Research Universities (LERU) published in the June issue of the European Research Area newsletter.

Tags:  ERA  European Commission  gender equality  LERU 

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Gender equality strategy: MEPs call for clearer targets and better monitoring

Posted By Administration, 09 June 2015

9 June 2015, European Parliament -

The EU’s new post-2015 gender equality strategy needs clearer targets, practical actions and more effective monitoring to make real headway against discrimination in the labour market, education and decision-making, says a non-binding resolution adopted on Tuesday.

Parliament also says specific actions are needed to strengthen the rights of women with disabilities, migrant and ethnic minority women, Roma women, older women, single mothers and LGBTI.

The resolution was adopted by 341votes to 281, with 81 abstentions.

The rapporteur, Maria Noichl (S&D, DE), said: “Despite our differences, MEPs focused on our key aim: to finally achieve real gender equality in Europe.” She added: "The resolution will serve as a good, balanced and forward-looking basis for a new women's rights and gender equality strategy for all women and men in the EU.”

Fight new forms of violence against women

MEPs call on the Commission to propose new laws containing binding measures to protect women from violence and want all member states to ratify the Istanbul Convention as soon as possible. They say special attention must be paid to new forms of violence against women and girls such as cyber-harassment, cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying. Furthermore, feminisation of poverty might lead to an increase in female trafficking, sexual exploitation and forced prostitution and member states should therefore find ways to discourage demand and establish programmes to exit from prostitution, says the text.

Balancing family and working life

Adequate maternity, paternity and parental leave are needed to increase female employment rates. Parents also need affordable, quality child-care services that are compatible with full-time working hours of both men and women.

MEPs stress the importance of flexible forms of work in allowing women and men to reconcile work and family life according to their own choice.

Member states need to combat precarious and undeclared employment of women, MEPs say, as it contributes to increased poverty among women. The Commission and the member states should take appropriate measures to reduce the gender pay and pension gap, says the text.

More women in top positions

MEPs ask the Council to reach a common position on a quota for women as soon as possible as this has proved successful in countries that have already introduced compulsory quotas. They also call on national and EU authorities to ensure equality within their own decision-making bodies by proposing both a female and a male candidate for high-level positions.

Health and education

Parliament calls for high-quality and readily accessible services in the areas of sexual and reproductive health and rights and safe and legal abortion and contraception, saying that women have the right to control their own bodies. Sex education programmes should be implemented in schools, says the text.

Integrating gender perspective within and outside the EU

MEPs call on member states to promote a balanced, non-stereotypical image of women in the media and advertising.

Combating bullying and prejudice against LGBTI persons in schools should be part of the EU's efforts to combat gender stereotypes, say MEPs. Education and empowerment also play an important role in combating gender stereotypes and ending gender-based discrimination.

The EU should provide a role model for gender equality and women’s rights within and outside EU borders. The gender perspective and the fight against gender violence should be integrated in EU foreign, development and trade policy, says the text.

Parliament calls on the Commission to promote the use of gender mainstreaming, gender budgeting and gender impact assessment in all areas and for each legislative proposal at all levels of governance.

Similarly, member states should introduce the gender dimension in their budgets in order to analyse government programmes and policies, their impact on the allocation of resources and their contribution to equality between men and women, says the text.

Tags:  european parliament  gender equality 

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Call for application for African Women Scientists in Spanish top researcher centers

Posted By Administration, 12 May 2015
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The EPWS Newsletter of May 2015 is now available

Posted By Administration, 04 May 2015
The EPWS Newsletter of May 2015 is now available. You can read it by following this link

Tags:  EPWS  newsletter 

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Gender Summit Africa to starts on Tuesday 30 April 2015.

Posted By Administration, 27 April 2015

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Caterina Biscari received the FemTalent 2015 award

Posted By Administration, 20 April 2015
In recognition for her professional career, Caterina Biscari has been bestowed with the FemTalent 2015 award. FemTalent aims at promoting gender equality and feminine talent. Read the full article on the ALBA-CELLS website.

Tags:  award 

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DFG Announces Recipients of 2015 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize

Posted By Administration, 14 April 2015

Ten Researchers to Receive Most Important Early Career Prize / Award Ceremony on 5 May in Berlin.

This year's recipients of the most important prize for early career researchers in Germany have been announced. The selection committee, appointed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), has chosen ten researchers, five women and five men, to receive the 2015 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prizes. The prizes of 20,000 euros each will be presented on 5 May in Berlin.

The 2015 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize recipients are:

  • Marian Burchardt, Empirical Social Research, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen
  • Jessica Burgner-Kahrs, Mechatronics, University of Hanover
  • Pavel Levkin, Polymer Chemistry, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Soeren Lienkamp, Medicine, University of Freiburg Medical Center
  • Thomas Niendorf, Materials Engineering, TU Bergakademie Freiberg
  • Stephan Packard, Media Culture Studies, University of Freiburg
  • Susanne Paulus, Ancient Near Eastern Studies, University of Münster
  • Cynthia Sharma, Infection Biology, University of Würzburg
  • Sarah Weigelt, Psychology, University of Bochum
  • Xiaoxiang Zhu, Geodesics, Technical University of Munich

The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize has been awarded annually to outstanding early career researchers since 1977 as both recognition and an incentive to continue pursuing a path of academic and scientific excellence. Named after the atomic physicist and former DFG President, and awarded for the first time during his term of office, the prize is regarded as the most important of its kind for early career researchers in Germany. In addition, in a survey carried out by the German magazine "bild der wissenschaft”, the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize was voted the third most important science prize in Germany by the leading research institutions – after the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, presented by the DFG, and the Deutscher Zukunftspreis, awarded by the German Federal President.

A total of 127 researchers representing all research areas were nominated for this year's prize; 24 of the nominees were then shortlisted. "The academic quality of the candidates and their research work was extraordinarily high, making it a difficult pleasure for the committee to select the prizewinners from the shortlist," said the chair of the committee, DFG Vice President Professor Dr. Marlis Hochbruck, after the decisions were made.

Read the full press release on the DFG website.

Tags:  DFG  prize 

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Integrating Gender Equality into Research Performing Organisations RPO and university. Research, Practices and setting of on-line Tool on Gender Equality Plans

Posted By Administration, 07 April 2015
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