WISE are proud to announce the three highly commended and ten winners of the 2013 WISE Awards who received their awards from HRH The Princess Royal at the ceremony at the Science Museum on 14th November.
The QMUL team—Prof Ursula Martin, Prof Edmund Robinson, Katja Knecht (MAT/G.Hack), Ann-Louise Anderson (SEMS/WISE@QMUL) and Nela Brown (CogSci/G.Hack)—and their guests Steven Brown, Prof Caroline Wardle and Dr Rona Ramsey had a wonderful evening at the stunning venue.
Science Museum: what a great venue for the 2013 WISE Awards
Nela and Ursula (nominees for Leader Award and Lifetime Achievement Award) had the great honour of meeting all the other incredible nominees, as well as shaking hands and chatting with the amazing HRH The Princess Royal, who is a big supporter of WISE!
Nela making the HRH Princess Royal laugh during meet and greet!
We managed to bring one award ‘home’ this time (Highly Commended WISE Leader Award) and are certainly planning to be back next year and win more awards to flag the good work the female members of staff and students are doing at QMUL with the invaluable support from their departments.
A big thank you to Bertille for doing all the paperwork and putting forward the QMUL nominees and to Ursula (an amazing supporter of WISE@QMUL and G.Hack activities from the very start), who besides being nominated for the lifetime achievement award also miraculously managed to raise funds for a QMUL dedicated table! What a star!
The Highly Commended WISE Leader Award was given in the recognition of all the amazing things Nela has managed to achieve with the G.Hack, WISE@QMUL and Flossie teams in the past few years so she sends out a huge thank you to all the ladies who have worked with her on these projects and supported her over the years, and with whom she would like to share this award with!
An obligatory (unofficial) photo is below with representatives of QMUL. Click here for more official photos.
Left to right: Bertille Calinaud (QMUL Diversity Manager), Katja Knecht (MAT/G.Hack), Nela Brown, (CogSci/G.Hack), Ann-Louise Anderson (SEMS/WISE@QMUL)
Looking forward to next year!
WISE@QMUL presents a lunchtime panel discussion: “I want to be an academic—a female perspective”.
As a PhD student or postdoc, the pathway to a permanent job can often seem long and very difficult. This is made more discouraging by the fact that only 26.1% of lecturers in STEM subjects are female.
WISE have organised a discussion with four female QMUL academics to talk about their career paths and hopefully pick up some advice and encouragement along the way. We’ll also be talking about combining careers with families. Free lunch & tea/coffee, of course!
When: Wed 20th Nov 2013, 12:30-1:30 pm
Where: Matt Spencer Boardroom, 1/F, Student Union HUB, Mile End Campus
Map: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/docs/about/26065.pdf (Building 34)
Hope to see you there!
WISE@QMUL members and newcomers gathered for a lunchtime discussion following a viewing of A Chemical Imbalance, a documentary made by the University of Edinburgh to ”highlight some of the persistent challenges still faced by women, and to contribute to the wider debate about how we can progress towards equality.”
We were glad to meet so many new faces at our first event of the academic year. Everybody remarked how much they enjoyed the video (and the complimentary lunch, of course!)
Many men as well as ladies attended.
If you’d like to watch the video again, please visit http://chemicalimbalance.co.uk/project/watch-the-film/.
Joanne moderated the discussion session after the viewing, during which the following comments were made:
- Women may be more reluctant to “show off” their own achievements, possibly due to implicit social standards on which confidence in men is admired but confidence in women is seen as pushy and aggressive.
- Gender quotas for promotions are not likely to be a fair or even useful way of dealing with gender imbalances in the senior academic circles. A more important priority is to ensure that the decision-makers are not subconsciously biased towards any one gender.
- As shown in the (in)famous Yale study, women are just as likely to exhibit negative bias towards women, so there is a need for all of us to evaluate our own habits.
- In fact, female supervisors may be more likely to be undervalued, even by female subordinates. (Note that there is no data to support this hypothesis!)
- Although there is a significant tailing off of female participation after postdoctoral fellowships, it should be remembered that male researchers also face the same bottleneck for permanent academic positions.
Joanne moderated the discussion after the video.
It was a fruitful start to the year and we hope to see as many men and women attending our next panel discussion on 20th November to explore how four female academics at QMUL forged their own career paths.
A final note, if you are interested in suggesting or helping to run future events, please email us to join our organising committee. We really need as much help as possible!
Ada Lovelace Day is an annual celebration of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine.
Inspired by Ada Lovelace, daughter of poet Lord Byron (and arguably the first computer programmer, born more than 100 years before the computer was invented) our regular live event is hosted this year by Imperial College London and features a stellar line up. With live demos, biomedical wonders, neuroscience, inspiration, laughter and song, Ada Lovelace Day Live is an event not to be missed!
Performers will include:
- Fran Scott, a science communicator who designs demos for CBBC, live stage shows and the Science Museum
- Prof Molly Stevens, a leading bioengineer from Imperial College London whose work includes growing human bones in the lab
- Hazel Gibson, a geologist studying how geological processes affect our lives, and who is out to prove that women and geology is a combination that rocks!
- Chi Onwurah, engineer, MP for Newcastle, and Shadow Cabinet Office Minister with responsibility for cybersecurity
- Leila Johnston, a comedy writer, technologist, maker and broadcaster who encourages us to do things we’re not supposed to!
- Prof Sophie Scott, a cognitive neuroscientist and standup scientist who studies laughter, from brain scanners to comedy clubs
- Dr Bernadette Byrne, a molecular membrane biology researcher at Imperial College London, who is exploring the science of our own cells
- Plus more names to be announced
The evening will be compèred by comedian and geek songstress Helen Arney, who has pledged to use her physics degree and ukulele only for good. After all, with great power comes great responsibility.
The evening starts at 6 pm with a reception, including cash bar and entertainment. The main performance begins at 7 pm and there will be an after-party from around 9:30 pm.
Try your hand at table-top experiments performed by Imperial’s very own science buskers during the reception and interval, or browse the books on sale. Also on display will be a series of photographic portraits from the
100 Women 100 Visions exhibit, celebrating women scientists and engineers from all academic levels at Imperial College London.
Tickets start at £5 for concessions, £15 for general entry, or just £10 if you use discount code “friendofALD”. More details available from http://ald13.eventbrite.co.uk/
This event is part of a network of events across the globe, from personal blog posts about women in STEM to Wikipedia edit-a-thons to Ada Lovelace-themed tea parties and conferences. For more about Ada Lovelace Day
go to http://findingada.com.
Flossie 2013 brings together FLOSS women developers, entrepreneurs, researchers and policy-makers, digital artists and social innovators for an exciting mix of talks, spontaneous discussions and open workshops. Flossie 2013 brings the benefits of open thinking to artist and entrepreneurs and the insights of diverse innovators to FLOSS development.
This year’s theme is diversity: women, LGBTQ and men with an interest in diversifying technology are welcome to attend and the building offers wheelchair access, please note our diversity and anti-harassment policy.
Download the Programme for Flossie 2013 here.
Register for Flossie 2013 now - tickets are going fast!
Flossie 2013 builds on last year’s success with new threaded mini-events: Google and Mozilla coders will be evaluating contributions to our Open CodeSprint and we are also combining students of architecture and product design with disability communities, makers and coders to explore and prototype Smart Assistive Environments innovation for Living Aids industry partners.
Click here for more information or to take part in the CodeSprint.
Click here for more information or to take part in the Diversifying Internet of Things project.
We look forward to seeing you at Flossie 2013 (@flossienet, #flossie2013)!
WISE@QMUL presents an afternoon workshop on assertive communication with Aspire Leadership.
The workshop is aimed at women who want to develop communication skills for working in male dominated environments, and will focus on the use of the voice to show assertiveness. This will be a hands-on workshop with lots of practical exercises. Food and drink will be provided.
When: Thursday 12th September 2013, 1:45-4 pm
Where: G07, The Bancroft Building, Mile End Campus
Map: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/docs/about/26065.pdf (Building 31)
Booking for this event is crucial as places are very limited!
Book using the Learning Institute system at www.learninginstitute.qmul.ac.uk/booking using the code RW207
About Aspire Leadership: Aspire provide leadership courses to companies from small start-ups to multi-billion pound global enterprises. They work with small groups so that everyone gets personal attention, and techniques will be focussed on practical situations. Our facilitator from Aspire, Bronia Szczygiel, initially qualified as a chartered engineer, and has experience in scientific research and management. (www.aspire-leadership.co.uk)
WISE@QMUL have been generously offered a 20% discount to Campus Party day and week passes. It’s taking place from 2nd-7th September at the O2.
Campus Party is an annual week long, 24-hours-a-day technology festival where thousands of “Campuseros” (hackers, developers, gamers and technophiles), equipped with laptops, camp on-site and immerse themselves in a truly unique environment.
Recognised as the biggest electronic entertainment event in the world, Campus Party unites the brightest young minds in technology and science under the idea that “the Internet is not a network of computers, it’s a network of people.”
The festival features over 500 hours of talks, debates, workshops, competitions and hackathons related to science, innovation, digital entertainment and creativity. Additionally, hundreds of hours of ad-hoc events are planned by participants and continue throughout the night.
Check out their website
Follow them on twitter @campuspartyeu
On 2nd July 2013, WISE@QMUL presented a lunchtime seminar from women working in science policy at the Royal Society and the Wellcome Trust.
This proved a very popular event and we had 36 attendees from departments throughout the STEM sector of the University, including many from the Blizzard Institute. We discussed the transition of female policy workers from academia to science policy, the career trajectories available within science policy, as well as organisations that employ policy workers. Lunch was provided as usual, and went down a treat!
- Natalie Banner recently joined the Wellcome Trust as a Policy Officer, working on issues around access and sharing of data in genetic and genomic studies, and patient privacy. Before this she spent 3 years as a postdoctoral research fellow at King’s College London. A 3-month fellowship at POST (Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology) spurred her interest in science policy and the ways in which relationships between academics and policy makers could be developed for mutual benefit.
- Elizabeth Bohm is a Senior Policy Adviser at the Royal Society and has spent the last decade working in policy after training in both science and law. She gravitated towards policy after a narrow escape from a life in corporate law and now uses her skills in a variety of roles for public bodies, research funders and trade unions. In her current role she covers a broad range of topics from research misconduct and public engagement to genetically modified crops and TB in badgers.
Feedback from the event showed that many attendees enjoyed the discussion and found the speakers interesting and engaging. Our great thanks go out to Elizabeth and Natalie for their enthusiasm for being part of this event, they certainly helped to open many people’s eyes to science policy as a potential career.
We hope to see as many new faces attending our next events.
A jammed pack room with many new faces
Natalie Banner (Wellcome Trust) gave us an insight into policy work and science policy internships within Parliament
On 22nd May 2013, WISE@QMUL hosted a screening and discussion of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s TED talk: “Why we have too few women leaders”.
In this talk, Sheryl looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions, and offers three powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for leadership.
The event was really well attended by junior and senior academics; great to see so many people there discussing an important issue!
On 3rd May 2013, we had a very interesting event to discuss and explore the challenges facing female postdocs in STEM subjects. With demands including running experiments and applying for permanent academic positions, as well as juggling relationships and family life, the choice to work as a female postdoc in STEM is not an easy decision, and often leads to sacrifices for many.
This event aimed to assess these challenges and evaluate how female postdocs can make the most of their experiences and develop their career. We had a range of speakers and a subsequent panel discussion involving:
- Dr Tracy Bussoli, who works with PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, advising them on career strategies. She completed her PhD in Genetics with the Medical Research Council and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the MRC Institute of Hearing Research, then as a Senior Genetic Counsellor at Guy’s Clinical Genetics Department for 8 years
- Ros Hannen, who is a current postdoctoral researcher at QMUL
- Gioia Cherubini, who is a former postdoctoral researcher and is now a Business Development Manager for QMUL
This event proved very interesting for all the attendees, and we extend a big thank you to our guest speakers!
The challenges facing postdocs was of interest to many
Left to right: Ros (speaker), Gioia (speaker), and Joanne (WISE Chair)