Programme / Thematic session III/f Getting Women into Academies and Scientific Leadership: Mentoring Works

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Thursday / 8 DEC

11:30 - 13:00

Thematic session:
Thematic session III/f Getting Women into Academies and Scientific Leadership: Mentoring Works
Venue: Ballroom

This session aims to inspire a new generation of women researchers and scientists to step up into leadership roles in their places of work and national and international scientific organisations, such as national academies, scientific unions and women scientists’ associations (e.g. OWSD national chapters). The session will include engaging speakers and practical sessions.

A 2021 study reporting on the inclusion and participation of women in more than 120 science organizations finds that women are still under-represented, calling for the establishment of a coalition on gender equality in global science to ensure a transformative action agenda. The study, "Gender Equality in Science: Inclusion and Participation of Women in Global Science Organizations" shows the average share of women’s representation in senior academies is 16% — while the average share in young academies is 42%.

The recommendations from this report have also been taken up in a follow-up study performed by OWSD and IAP in 2022 – and the findings and further recommendations will be presented here. What happens in the science system that starts off at close to gender parity for young academies but drops off so dramatically for senior counterparts? The share of women academy members ranges from as high as 28% (biological sciences) and 27% (social sciences, humanities and arts) to as low as 10% (engineering sciences) and 8% (mathematical sciences), but none of these figures are close to 50% and the ambitions of the Sustainable Development Goal 5 on Gender Equality.

The session aims to promote a discussion that identifies actionable solutions for the international scientific community in an African context, creating environments that embrace equality and operationalize the recommendations of the report, potentially through mentoring programmes that increase women’s leadership, voices and representation in science systems.

This session will use the findings of the Gender Equality in Science report to frame a lively discussion around mentorship with practical exercises for women to start their mentorship journeys.