Guest post from Dr Aneela Majid (University of Leicester, UK). Joint Organizer of ‘Celebrating Women in Bioscience’ day an event sponsored by the Biochemical Society as part of ‘Celebrating Women in Biochemistry 2013’.
January 25th saw our first ‘Celebrating Women in Bioscience’ day. The event was used to showcase some of the excellent research done within the University as well as featuring a number of external speakers. Aside from an opportunity to highlight some key research, the day was also used as a forum to highlight some of the gender issues and imbalances seen in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects.
Chris Sharp, the equalities advisor for the University of Leicester, started the event by giving an overview of some of the available data on gender in academia. He pointed out that Athena SWAN and gender equality wasn’t just about women, but about achieving better practise which would result in better representation across STEM careers. This was followed by some great research talks presented by members of both sexes at different levels in their careers. We were lucky to have some excellent guest speakers and Dr Elizabeth Murchison, the keynote speaker, gave an intriguing talk about transmissible cancers in dogs and the Tasmanian Devil.
The event was brought to a close with a group discussion involving the speakers and audience and their personal experiences. Some interesting points were raised which Chris agreed put forward at the next national Athena SWAN meeting.
Next up in 2013 is the Launch Reception for Celebrating Women in Biochemistry 2013 on 7 February 2013. The event will showcase the Society’s broader ‘Women in Science’ work and our planned events throughout 2013.
Find out all the latest news on our activities for 2013 by following #WiB2013 on Twitter.