International Women's Day 2019

Highlights from across our online Communities

Go to the profile of Ruth Milne
Mar 08, 2019
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Happy International Women’s Day!

This year’s theme is ‘balance for better’ and we wanted to understand how this resonates within science and academia, and so we asked members of our online Communities for some help. Here’s what they said…


On our Astronomy Community, Mauro Sereno writes about his recent experience applying for a job which led him to question the point at which girls and young women stop pursuing their interest in astronomy. Similarly on our Chemistry Community, Himanshu Mishra wonders where all the female mechanical engineering are?

Jen Heemstra covers the ups and downs of her academic career in chemistry, discussing discrimination, maternity leave, travel and much more on our Bioengineering Community. Christina Demski also discusses women’s experiences in academia, but in the field of energy research and on our Behavioural & Social Sciences Community.   

Gender equality is not a "women’s thingy" – Kamil Dziubek recalls some cantankerous words he overheard at a conference once. Head to our Chemistry Community to learn more, including the open letter he's penned to colleagues.

On our Device & Materials Engineering Community, Angela Foerster and Jon Links describe their experience of an inclusive approach to collaboration which drives creativity and success. The culture of inclusivity is also the focus of a journal club post from Greg Hudalla on our Bioengineering Community.    

Mar Sobral takes a data led approach to conclude that starting a family and being a mother may be the reason why women are underrepresented in academia.

Female representation in economics is discussed by Christina Jenq and Rodrigo Zeidan on our Sustainability Community. They cover some of the barriers that female economists face to publication and promotion as well as some of the measures being put in place to improve gender balance.

Sticking with economists but moving to our Behavioural & Social Sciences Community, Helena Fornwagner shares two personal examples of the issues facing female academics. Also on the Behavioural & Social Science Community, Talbot Andrews writes about the brilliant Graduate Women’s Writing Group she co-founded, helping her department move toward balance for better.

Wan-Ting Chen and Yanfen Li share the importance of mentorship in creating balance, drawing on their own experiences as they moved from mentee to mentor. Having female role models and mentors around to connect with is also the subject of Taylor Quinn's post on our Chemistry Community.  

Please also explore many more inspiring stories from our authors and editors in our Women in Science collection, featuring a selection of interviews and related research content. 


Thanks to everyone who has kindly shared their thoughts, opinions, experiences and stories on gender diversity especially for International Women’s Day. This post is dedicated to you!  

It is clear from reading these posts that gender diversity is an issue for everyone, not simply a women’s thingy (to quote one of our contributors) and that achieving gender balance in the future means listening and working together now. This is true for all of society of course, not just the academic world; we need more female representation everywhere, in everything, at all levels. 

Go to the profile of Ruth Milne

Ruth Milne

Community Manager, Springer Nature

1 Comments

Go to the profile of Wan-Ting (Grace) Chen
Wan-Ting (Grace) Chen 8 months ago

Ruth, thanks again for your kind invitation. My big pleasure to contribute to this topic!