FEBS Working group on Women in Science (FEBS-WISE)
Workshops on “Women in Science”
FEBS Congress in Istanbul, Turkey
25th and 26th of June 2006
Two workshops were organised at the Istanbul meeting. One workshop, a lunch box seminar, was focussed on WISE – related issues and the situation in Turkey and the second workshop had a focus on a large-scale WISE project that is currently running in the United Kingdom. The workshops were organised in collaboration with EMBO.
Women in Science and Engineering in Turkey: lessons to be learned
June 25, 2006
Prof. Canan Özgen (Director of the Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences, METU, Ankara) talked about the situation of women in science in Turkey. In Turkey more than in any other European country the number of women that are participating in scientific research and teaching is high. Data on the participation of women in science was presented as well as information about the social aspects of the Turkey’s society.
It became clear that the social structures in the Turkish society are favourable for women and less favourable for men to undertake a career in science. The social status of a university professor is quite different form someone who runs his/her own small business. It turned out that, like in most European countries, the higher the social status of the profession the more men one tends to find in that profession. The seminar was both inspiring and informative. The audience recognized many of the issues raised and many of the participants were keen to share their personal experiences.
The session was attended by about 120 participants (25% men and 75% women)
The UK Athena project: the way forward
June 26, 2006.
Prof. Nancy J. Lane, a senior scientist in Cell Biology at Cambridge University, chair of the Athena Project and director of the Cambridge WiSETI initiative talked about the UK Athena Project. The project was established in 1999 with the aim to promote the improvement of the careers of women in science, engineering and technology (SET) in higher education and research to achieve a significant increase in the number of women recruited to top posts. The Athena project has worked with a number of universities in order to promote the establishment and implementation of good practice.
In 2005 the Athena project published the results of a survey that has been performed among more than 6500 UK scientists (ASSET). The survey contained question about career pathways, the role of scientists beyond teaching and research, expectations and ambitions. The findings suggest that heads of departments and senior scientists need to do more to encourage and support women in their departments so that they can reach their full potential. In 2006, the Athena project launched a recognition scheme that is aimed at assisting the recruitment, retention and progression of women in SET. The presentation was well received and was followed by a discussion.
The session was attended by about 50 participants.
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