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TWIST: Toward Women in Science & Technology

TWiSTing Science Logo

TWISTING SCIENCE
EVENTS CELEBRATING WOMEN IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Funded by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)


TWIST

TWIST-ON
A three day event celebrating and forging initiatives in
STEM awareness among women and young girls.

Last week at Science Gallery, a series of events explored gender inequality in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. TWIST-On was part of the Framework Programme 7 and organised by TWIST (Towards Women in Science & Technology). It brought together people from science museums, universities, schools, government, media, and science clubs; all with a focus of attracting more girls and young women to careers in STEM. 

The TWIST organisers noticed some key things at the event: 

  • They noticed that there is a great deal of interest in this area.
  • They felt that all participants (from companies, science museums, universities, schools, government, media and others) realised the importance of putting gender on their agenda when designing their programmes.
  • They realised that approaches need to be specific and targeted. For example, different approaches are required for primary schools and secondary schools, students and teachers. 
  • A cohesive message that girls can relate to is really important.
  • Learning about STEM outside of school can have as much impact as learning about it at school.
  • Girls want to relate to the subjects of STEM but also want to relate to the people who do them. They want personal engagement with ‘real life’ scientists, rather than watch videos or read blogs from women scientists online. That personal connection helps girls relate to the career and also gives them an opportunity to ask questions.

The TWIST participants came up with seven targeted messages each with an associated programme to help deliver that message. They presented them in a ‘Dragons' Den’ format to ten teenage girls then voted on the messages based on whether or not it would make them and their female friends more interested in STEM. The winning message was "If you were to work in STEM, you will work with the BEST companies, on the BEST projects and work with the BEST people!". Its aim was to show female students aged 13 to 18 the opportunities that exist in different companies, projects, teams, and organisations around the world. The associated programme was an internship and mentorship programme in a company such as IBM, Intel, Pfizer, EA Games, or Sony. The proposed programme included the production of videos to showcase the work, a week-long STEM camp, and several opportunities to meet and interview staff then communicate the experience online. 

Click here to find out more about TWIST

 

Interested in changing the world for the next generation by helping us to identify and share a range of initiatives that aim to increase the interest of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) amongst students, with a particular focus on girls?

Have  you  developed  unique  workshops,  school  or  museum  based  events,  exhibitions  or mentoring programmes that explore, challenge and raise awareness of the roles of women in science, engineering and technology? Then we want to hear about them at TWIST-ON.

TWIST-ON 17th - 19th OCTOBER 2012

We  are  inviting  companies,  universities,  schools,  science  centres,  government  funded programmes and individuals from across Europe who are involved or would like to be engaged in STEM  initiatives amongst students, with a particular focus on girls, to Science Gallery in Dublin this October to TWIST-ON.

TWIST-ON will occur over three days in October and include;

•     Speaker and reception (18:00 on 17th October)

17th October- Dr. Naomi Harte - Trinity College Dublin, “Talking Technology: How Engineering is transforming how we talk to each other and machines

Dr. Naomi Harte
  holds the SFI Lectureship in Digital Media Systems in the School of Engineering at TCD. She has extensive experience in audio, video and hardware systems development. Her major research interest is in Human Speech-based Communication. She has active projects working with companies such as Google in the area of audio-visual speech recognition, speech quality for VoIP, biometrics and speech processing for digital hearing aids.

•     Open Conference Table Talk (10:00 - 16:00 on 18th October)

•     Making Links morning (10:00 - 13:00 on 19th October)

19th October-Patricia O’Reilly- Member of Cabinet, European Commission “Gender in research and innovation - the European perspective”.

Patricia Reilly  joined the Cabinet of Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn in February 2010, and is responsible for a range of portfolio topics including the Bioeconomy. She was awarded an MVB, University College Dublin Veterinary School; MSC, University of Ulster; Diploma in Law, Honourable Society of the King's Inns. Formerly a practicing veterinary surgeon, agricultural attaché to the Irish Embassy in Warsaw and member of the veterinary inspectorate in the Irish Department of Agriculture.

What happens when 5 Researchers are teamed up with 5 Design professionals to re-imagine
the Research poster format? How should research be communicated?

Come join us at the opening of our TWIST-ON event, and view the showcase of our poster project!


Click here to register your interest for TWIST-ON.  Please contact wiser@tcd.ie for more information.  We will be in touch shortly with more details about each event.

*By registering on eventbrite you are supplying us with essential information as well as ensuring a reminder 48 hours before the event!*

This three day event is the culmination of a Framework 7 project TWIST which included seven science  museums across Europe. As women continue to be under-represented in science, technology, engineering and mathematical research, the EU funded project Towards Women in Science  and Technology (TWIST) developed a range of initiatives that aimed to increase the interest of STEM amongst students, with a particular focus on girls.

During TWIST-ON, participants will experience some of the exciting and innovative TWIST initiatives, hear from leading women scientists, have an opportunity to share experiences and learn from others in this discursive and open table format.  Participants will engage with many different types of stakeholders who are addressing this important issue with practical solutions and have possibilities for future collaborations with stakeholders across Europe.  A summary of key initiatives and programmes developed and implemented by all stakeholders will be compiled and disseminated.

Click here to find out more about TWIST

WiSER Vision for 21st Century Workplace in
2020 workshop


A WiSER Vision for the 21st Century Workplace, a blue print for a workplace of science, technology, engineering and maths that is accessible, sustainable and worthwhile for all employees, was recently drafted by over 30 professional women with a background in these fields.

The authors who represented a variety of workplaces and employment experiences including universities, industrial research companies, industries that require science and technology skills sets, hospitals, schools and government bodies relating to science and technology considered: ‘If today’s women were asked to redesign the workplace for themselves and the next generation what would their vision be?’ The resulting charter contains ten key principles for a 21st Century Workplace and is enclosed.

The initiative was organised by The Centre for Women in Science and Engineering Research, WiSER, Trinity College Dublin and Science Gallery and was funded through the European project TWIST, Towards Women in Science and Technology.

Core to the requirements for women in the workplace is greater flexibility in working conditions to ensure that talented women are not pushed out of the workplace due to temporary periods of high external pressure and demand. All women attending the workshop want changes made to the current workplace which means new methods of working, evaluation and new workplace facilities. The women are eager to utilise recent advances in technology that make flexible and remote working a viable option. They accept that this is a process, which will take commitment, time and investment from those involved.

We call on employers, educational institutions and the government to support the principals included in the WiSER Vision for the 21st Century Workplace in 2020. We want to see these 10 principles applied to create workplaces that are diverse and representative, places where men and women’s talents are utilised to full advantage, places where both men and women are given equal chance to excel.

What happened on the day?
The group of academic/private sector women began the afternoon with a thought provoking exercise to examine the makeup of their own workplaces. They were asked to fill in on a blank graph the percentages of women employed across the various grade levels in their own workplace. Considering the scatter of employment backgrounds in the room the trend that appeared from this first exercise was remarkably consistent. In the vast majority of cases the workplaces represented comprised of large percentages of women employed at lower/entry level, with fewer in senior management positions and almost none at director/CEO level.

IWD 2012
IWD 2012
Group during Introductory Session & typical result of first exercise

Caroline Roughneen, WiSER Director went on to explained how WiSER works in Trinity College to address the same trend in academia where women are severely underrepresented in senior academic roles. WiSER recognises that good work practices and processes benefit all while poor ones tend to disadvantage women more. Through solution based actions WiSER works towards an inclusive and innovative research community in which women and men participate fully at all levels and are recognised equally for their contributions.

 
IWD 2012
Distribution of women and men along the academic career path in TCD


Working in four groups the women were then asked to discuss and describe their current workplaces in terms of three core themes; work/life balance, leadership & advancement and organisational culture. With the help of a facilitator and WiSER & Science Gallery staff all the workplace characteristics that arose from the discussions, both positive and negative, were recorded and put on display for the full group to see. The groups discussed their contributions and were in many cases surprised to find the level of common experience irrespective of their role or profession.

IWD 2012IWD 2012
Entire group working on characterising today’s workplace & their contribution on work-life balance in today’s workplace.

The next session focused on enabling the women to describe their ideal future workplace, a place where both men and women are valued equally and are afforded the oppurtunity to progress and acheive excellence in their chosen careers. The women considered how valuable talent could be retained and advanced while maintaining the highest standards of work. All suggestions were recorded.

IWD 2012IWD 2012
A Entire group’s contributions for the ideal future workplace & 3 of the 34 Key Statements

The future workplace ideals were then summarised into over thirty key statements after which the women proposed the actions required to deliver the statements as reality

IWD 2012IWD 2012IWD 2012
Group suggesting and recording the actions required to make the key statements a reality & a Key Statement with actions required (green stickers representing votes)

The afternoon culminated with the group voting on which statements and changes to include in the WiSER Vision for the 21st Century workplace in 2020 - a blue print for a workplace of science, engineering and maths and related employment that is diverse, accessible, sustainable and worthwhile for both men and women. The resulting document contains ten key principles for the 21st Century Workplace. 

What Resulted?
Preface

Ireland is currently facing many challenges however there are also great opportunities on the horizon. Research and innovation are at the core of recovery, Ireland requires an available, highly skilled, talented workforce to meet the demands of the 21st Century workplace.
To fully utilise the investment in and the talent of educated women a modern workplace is required that is output focused, a workplace that facilitates the reality of external commitments without penalty and is sustainable and representative for all. A workplace that works for women, one that encourages an innovative and focussed culture where excellence is acknowledged and rewarded, one which will place Ireland in a competitive position on a global scale.
This is our charter for change, 10 points that should be applied to redesigning the workplace of science, technology, engineering, maths and related workplaces. We believe that the workplace can be a diverse and representative place where men and women’s talents are utilised to full advantage, a place where both men and women are given equal chance to excel. We are committed to this charter.


A WiSER Vision for the 21st Century Workplace in 2020

  1. Provide options for flexible working hours and part-time work to all staff without endangering their career progression
  2. Evaluate staff based on performance and results achieved rather than on number of hours worked
  3. Implement family friendly policies for men and women.
  4. Promote female role models
  5. Employ a temporary quota of 50:50 women:men at leadership levels.
  6. Introduce transparency on salaries
  7. Achieve transparency on promotion criteria
  8. Arrange on-site childcare
  9. Facilitate staff with a work from home option
  10. Ensure recruitment and interview processes are gender blind

10 key principles and changes

Principle

How

1. Provide options for flexible working hours and part-time work to all staff without endangering their career progression

Supportive legislation, provisions in staff contracts and the normalization of a culture where non-linear career paths are acceptable will allow a flexible environment where both men and women can adjust their hours as needed. This will prevent valuable staff being lost due to the pressures of temporary periods of high external demand.

2. Evaluate staff based on performance and results achieved rather than on number of hours worked

The provision of flexible working practices and clear assessment criteria will result in a workplace where outputs rather than the time spent on inputs is valued. This will encourage an innovative and focused culture where excellence is acknowledged and rewarded.

3. Implement family friendly policies for men and women.

Government legislation & organizational policy is required to provide childcare close to or in the workplace and to allow the option of flexible working hours to all staff in order to facilitate care roles outside the workplace.

4. Promote female role models

Through enshrining representative leadership in organizational policy, supporting the advancement of qualified women to senior roles and the introduction of workplace mentoring programmes inspiration and proof can be provided to women that the workplace is an accessible sustainable and worthwhile place for them.

5. Employ a temporary quota of 50:50 women:men at leadership levels.

Legislating a required quota for interview candidates and introducing a staggered quota of women for senior roles will ensure representative leadership in the workplace.

6. Introduce transparency on salaries

Legislation is required to make all salary scales available and to enforce the publication of salaries received within each organization. A requirement to collect gender disaggregated salary data should also be included.

7. Achieve transparency on promotion criteria

Through the publication of promotion requirements, the advertisement of positions, the acknowledgement of outputs and staff performance management both women and men will be actively enabled to progress in their careers.

8. Arrange on-site childcare

Workplace policy is required to provide greater access to childcare. The affordability of childcare costs and tax options relating to same require consideration at a governmental level.

9. Facilitate staff with a work from home option

Introduce an institutional work from home policy which provides for and utilises modern methods of remote working.

10. Ensure recruitment and interview processes are gender blind

Remove names from resumes and arrange for balanced gender aware interview panels. This process should also be applied to funding/grant/award applications.

What next?
By listening to the experienced voices of today’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths women, universities, the government and other employers can act to ensure that Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and their related employments are a worthwhile and attractive career choice for today’s young women.

 

A WiSER Charter for the 21st Century Workplace


A WiSER Charter for the 21st Century Workplace’ will take place in the Science Gallery on International Women’s day, 8th March.  This workshop will bring together women with Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths backgrounds from a wide range of employment experiences to create a blue-print for the 21st Century workplace that is diverse, accessible, worthwhile and sustainable for women.

By listening to the experienced voices of today’s women; universities, the government and other employers can act to ensure that careers related to science, technology, engineering and maths are a worthwhile and attractive choice for today and tomorrow’s young women.

This event is open to all women with a background in science, technology, engineering or maths, regardless of their current role or employment status.
Come along and join in what is sure to be a creative and lively event.
 
To reserve your place contact wiser@tcd.ie 
When: Thursday 8th March- International Women’s Day
Time: 2-5pm with a reception to follow
Location: Science Gallery


HAVE YOU BEEN IN A MEETING RECENTLY WHERE ONE COLLEAGUE IS MISSING AND YOU HAVE NOTICED HOW THEIR CREATIVITY AND INPUT IS SORELY MISSED? NOW, IMAGINE THIS SCENARIO ON A REGULAR BASIS.
This is a problem that the fields of science, engineering and technology are facing as women are significantly under-represented in these areas. Ensuring women are represented in the fields of science, engineering and technology not only provides a more inclusive, fuller representation of the entire population that science impacts but also ensures a wealth of diverse and creative ideas which are vital to innovation.

TWISTING SCIENCE: WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
Towards Women in Science and Technology (TWiST) is an FP7 funded project which aims to raise awareness of the wideranging roles played by women in science, engineering and technology. It will also highlight the importance of gender within science research.

As part of this project, the Centre for Women in Science and Engineering Research (WiSER) and Science Gallery, at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), are hosting TWiSTing Science – three days of events celebrating women in science and technology. These events will also take place in science centres and museums across Europe including Denmark, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia and Sweden.

TWiSTing Science took place in the Science Gallery from 27.10.2010 - 30.10.2010. The events were open to the public and included top researchers presenting their work at the XX Lab and talking about their passions at the XX Factor. Visitors were invited to take part in the Implicit Association test to find out what their biases are when it comes to questions about gender.

FIND OUT MORE: Click here to download the full programme of events for TWiSTing Science (PDF, 92 kB)

WHAT HAPPENED?
You can read more about the events that took place during TWiSTing Science below. To see some of the highlights from the events, watch the following video:

XX Lab
Thurs 28th – Fri 29th October, 12.00 – 18.00, & Sat 30th October, 12.00 – 15.00
Whether you wanted to cycle around Google Street View or make a working solar cell using fruit juice, XX Lab invited visitors to participate in interactive scientific experiments and research projects, all while exploring the role of women in science, engineering and technology.

XX Factor
Wed 27th October, 18.00 – 19.00
A series of short talks by creative and passionate scientists who spoke for 5 minutes about a key object, person or place that has inspired them. Full details are provided in the attached programme.

XX Talk
Thurs 28th October, 18.30 – 19.30
“In Conversation with Damini Kumar: Creativity and Innovation in Science and Technology”
Multi-award winning designer Damini Kumar, Director of Design & Creativity, NUI Maynooth, is the European Ambassador for Creativity & Innovation.

Implicit Association Tests (IAT)
Wed 27th – Sat 30th October
Do you know what you really think?
The IAT measures implicit or automatic attitudes. It’s well known that people don’t always ‘speak their minds’, and it is suspected that people don’t always ‘know their minds’. Understanding these divergences is important to creating any kind of sustainable change in people’s mindset regarding gender and science.


Logo - WiSER   Logo - Science Gallery

 


Last updated 14 November 2016 by WiSER (Email).