Promoting gender equity in Science
During the course of Prof Tilley’s Laureate Fellowship (2015 – 2020), she will engage in different strategies to support the promotion and advancement of women in science. Some of the issues she will be targeting include:
Developing and promoting templates for gender policy for scientific conferences
Many scientific conference speakers and panels are currently male dominated, even in disciplines where the balance between male and female researchers is approaching equality. Over the next few months, we hope to develop gender equity policy principles that will be made available as templates for conference organisers. As an example, see this article on how gender balance was achieved in three years at the Lorne Conference on Protein Structure and Function.
Female speakers in Quantitative Biomedical Sciences
Prof Tilley is developing a list of high profile Australian and international female researchers in quantitative biomedical science. The current list is available to download here.
If you would like to nominate a high profile female researcher in quantitative biomedical science to join this list, please contact Ms Shannon Kenny at email@example.com . To be included on the list, researchers should have an excellent research track record in quantitative biomedical research, be an experienced conference speaker and have an engaging presentation style. Researchers will be contacted to gain permission prior to inclusion on the list. The list will be reviewed and updated periodically.
For ideas on how to increase the number of women speakers at conferences, see this article in Nature. The following web sites may also provide information on female speakers from around the world:
- American Society for Cell Biology has a women’s community (WICB) site
- WICB has a searchable list of female cell biologists who are potential conference speakers, with links to the subject’s home page for further information on each person.
- The Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) has a Women in Science group and awards an annual prize and lists previous winners who may be available as speakers:
- The American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology has a timeline of female researchers in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, including links to each person’s home page.
Mentoring and development programs
The University of Melbourne offers:
- A workshop on establishing your research career is available for early career staff.
- Academic orientation programs are offered for both early career and senior staff.
- The University supports the practice of mentoring and this can be arranged individually or with help from your Head of Department.
- A Women in Leadership program is available for level C and D staff.
Career interruption policies and opportunities
The University offers generous parental leave provisions and a return to work bonus following maternity leave. Further information is available here. The University also offers the Melbourne Research Fellowship (Career Interruption) to help researchers re-establish their career after carer, parental or other prolonged periods of absence.
The ARC and NHMRC both offer early career researcher fellowships and the NHMRC also offers career development fellowships. Both funding bodies have policies that take into account career interruptions when applying for these grants.
Recognition of women’s contribution to science
Women are highly underrepresented as recipients of the higher level awards for many scientific societies and often this is due to a dearth of female applicants. By contrast, there is no shortage of applications for the L’Oreal prize, which specifically targets women in science.
The Australian Academy of Science offers two Australian-based prizes for women in sciences:
- The Nancy Millis Medal for Women in Science is open to mid-career researchers in the natural sciences.
- The Dorothy Hill Award, valued at $3,000, is open to early career female researchers in earth science.
In 2016, Prof Tilley will establish a new prize for women in science, named the Georgina Sweet Award for Women in Quantitative Biomedical Science. This award, valued at $25,000 is open to mid-career female researchers in quantitative biomedical science.
Careers in Quantitative Biomedical Science
Article in Science Magazine discusses careers in Quantitative Biomedical Science
Women in Science and Gender Bias in Academe
There are many Australian and international web resources that provide information for women in science.
Some international academic papers on gender bias in academe are also provided.
Women in Science resources
- Women in Science Australia website has an excellent resources section
- Women in Science Australia Speakers
- VESKI Inspiring Women in Science
- The NHMRC Women in Health Science Working Committee. The site also provides information on institutional gender equity policies.
- Data base of expert women in life science (WILS) (European based)
- Women in Science and Engineering, WISE, is for science and engineering students at the University of Melbourne.
- The Australian Academy of Science has a section on gender equity, including links to the SAGE and Athena Swan initiatives.
- Conversation article: Why aren’t there more women in Science?
- Article on achieving gender balance in scientific conferences in 3 years:
- Nature special on women in science
- Peer-reviewed research and resources for Women in STEM by Astronomer and Astrobiologist Dr. Sarah Rugheimer
- Message from the President of the Biophysical Society Suzanne Scarlata about resources within the society to help meeting organisers find established women and minority speakers
- Biophysical Society Blog post by Sharona Gordon regarding new anti-harassment policy
- Science & Technology Australia (STA) new program: Superstars of STEM - Empowering female role models
Other Grants & Awards
Gender Bias in Academe resources
- Gender Bias in Academe: An Annotated Bibliography of Important Recent Studies
- Does diversity influence group success by Johanna Vandermaas
- Expectations of brilliance underlie gender distributions across academic disciplines
- Women’s Belonging With and Motivation for Male-Dominated STEM Fields As a Function of Effort Expenditure Concerns
- Female peers in small work groups enhance women's motivation, verbal participation, and career aspirations in engineering
- National hiring experiments reveal 2:1 faculty preference for women on STEM tenure track
- Why gender balance at conferences should become the "new normal" by Professor Julian Eastoe