Presentation on theme: "Challenging the Leaky Pipeline in Science, Engineering and Technology"— Presentation transcript:
1Challenging the Leaky Pipeline in Science, Engineering and Technology Dr. Ita RichardsonFP7-SCIENCE-IN-SOCIETY ,Project No
2Importance of having Women in SET European and National Agenda“We need to address these issues, not only for the sake of fairness and equality, but for the sake of science and research itself – we need to build our research capacity in Europe.”Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science.
3Importance of having Women in SET DiversityEconomic GrowthSocial JusticeProvision of Role ModelsProvision of ChoicePhotographs: Eoin Stephenson, UL
4Diversity Diversity promotes creativity and innovation Do we want to continue living in a worldbuilt by men for men?
5Economic Growth Dependent on having an educated workforce Can we afford to eliminate 50% of the populationfrom SET?
6Importance of having Women in SET “The Grand Challenges facing Europe (including climate change and demography) require the full participation of women in its science and technology system…”European Commission, 2012
7Challenges for Women in SET Lise Meitner, Nuclear Physicist, Germany, c. 1900:Professor Emil Fischer “did not allow women in his building”. Meitner worked there, “Provided she stay in a converted carpenter’s shop in the basement and never enter any part of the building used by men”Sharon Bertsch McGrayne, 1998
8Challenges for Women in SET “I very much wish to be considered together with Madame Curie with respect to our research on radioactive bodies.”Pierre Curie, 1903, when he heard of his Nobel Prize for Physics nomination with Henri Becquerel, but without his wife, Marie Curie, Physicist and Chemist, Poland and France
9Challenges for Women in SET Barbara McClintoch, Geneticist, USA, 1936: Mistaking Barbara for someone who had recently announced her engagement, her Dean “threatened her, ‘If you get married, you’ll be fired’”Sharon Bertsch McGrayne, 1998
10Challenges for Women in SET Someone else was made first author on a paper “because he was a young man and had a family to support.”Christiane Nusslein-Volhard, early 1970s, Germany.
11Challenges for Women in SET Astronomy classes in the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh, same percentage of women in 1982 and “Womenfolk play the larger part in the decision. It has been my experience that it is other women who ask (too frequently) whether one really enjoys doing physics.”Jocelyn Bell Burnell, 1982, Belfast.
12Challenges continue: Gender Audit @ UL No institutional barriers to one’s career development at university level.Women spent more time generally during the week and weekends on domestic chores than male counterparts.Women in the University appeared to take on more work than their male colleagues. Examples given included the development of new courses and student support.Wilson & Richardson, 2008
13Research Gender Audit Results % Female % Male Keynote /plenary/invited speaker external conference/workshop3663Editor of scientific/technical journal or book1728Member of the Editorial Board of an Academic Journal1532Reviewer for International Journal4478Assessor for grant giving bodies2255Appointment to National/international bodies2442Research
16Why women leave academia Women more negatively affected by men regarding ‘string of post-doc positions’Concerns about competitiveness are fuelled by a relative lack of self-confidenceNature of available role modelsPerceived by female PhD candidates as aggressive and competitive (male characteristics)Often childlessWomen are told that their gender ‘will work against them’UK Resource Centre for Women /Royal Society of Chemistry, 2012
17Retain and fully employ the competencies and capacities of the whole research force, regardless of genderWomen do not lack researchers’ essential characteristicsAcademic environment is lacking essential characteristics to foster women’s research potentialUL Principal Investigator – Prof. Pat O’Connor
18FESTA: Building on Previous Initiatives External and Internal Funding: Atlantic Philanthropies, Science Foundation Ireland, UL Human ResourcesGender (Science Foundation Ireland)Equality Opportunities ManagerIntroductory Courses for Women in SETResearch in Gender Studies and SociologyRole Models for School Girls
19Led by University of Uppsala, Sweden University of Limerick - Faculty of Science & EngineeringUniversities in Denmark, Turkey, Germany, Italy, BulgariaMarch 1st 2012 to 28th February 2017
20Qualitative Research Methods: Interviews and Focus Groups Analyse UL and other UniversitiesQualitative Research Methods: Interviews and Focus GroupsResearch Questions:Can we raise awareness regarding career paths?How are formal and informal decisions made?How is excellence defined?What power-plays exist in PhD supervision? (UL not researching)Can we understand resistance? (UL not researching)Implement and Measure RecommendationsAnalyse Published ResearchDevelop Recommendations from outcomes
21Encouraging SET female researchers to make a career in academia Implementing changes in the working environment of academic researchersEncouraging SET female researchers to make a career in academiaRemove some of the hurdles which makes this difficult for themAnalyse UL and other UniversitiesImplement and Measure RecommendationsAnalyse Published ResearchDevelop Recommendations from outcomes
22Human Resource involvement Analyse UL and other UniversitiesHuman Resource involvementImplementation in Faculty of Science and EngineeringResults from other Universities implemented in ULResults from UL implemented in other UniversitiesImplement and Measure RecommendationsAnalyse Published ResearchDevelop Recommendations from outcomes
23We as a University have to change! It is not women who are lacking essential characteristics for being good researchers, but it is the academic environment that is lacking essential characteristics for fostering the research potential of womenManagementFacultyand Women themselves
25AcknowledgementsUniversity of Limerick team members: Prof. Pat O’Connor, Principal Investigator, FESTA, Dr. Ita Richardson, Principal Investigator , Lero, Tommy Foy, Director of Human Resources, Marie Connolly, HR Shared Transition Services Manager, Alison O’Regan , Learning, Development and Equal Opportunities Officer, Caroline Neylon, HR Officer, Research, Clare O’Hagan, Research Fellow, FESTAFESTA has received funding from the European Union, Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/ , under grant agreement NoColleagues in Lero – the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre and the second year B.Sc. In Digital Media and Design students
26ReferencesEuropean Commission, Structural change in research institutions, Enhancing excellence, gender equality and efficiency in research and innovation, 2012.Wilson, D., and I. Richardson, SFI Development Grant Report, 2008.UK Resource Centre for Women / Royal Society of Chemistry, The Chemistry PhD: the impact on women’s retention, 2012.Bertsch McGrayne, S., Nobel Prize Women in Science, 1998.