Women in Graphene 2017
Graphene Week 2017 hosted a Women in Graphene session, part of the overarching Women in Graphene initiative set up by the Graphene Flagship to help support women and create a more gender diverse scientific community.
Starting the session with an overview of funding opportunities for women within Horizon 2020 saw Maria Koutrokoi (EC Programme Officer) and George Megas (Enterprise Europe Network) give a joint presentation. The importance of gender equality is evident in the funding approach for Horizon 2020 and this was outlined in these talks.
Emilie Klecha who is the Scientific and Policy Officer for the EC Flagships unit then gave a fascinating talk about women in science throughout the EU, which clearly showed the need for events such as these to bring the scientific community together to understand the depth of gender disparity and to take steps towards a solution. Klecha's talk included the outcome of EU research: 30% of the EU scientific community are women, those are paid 82% of their male counterparts for the same job and of all patent applications only 9% have a named female inventor.
Klecha talked not only about the problems but also about the initiatives that the EU is putting in place to try and counteract these issues, including funding projects which aim to show innovative strategies to correct any gender bias. The EC considers gender balance as a ranking factor when evaluating research proposals that receive the same score.
The session ended with a talk from the Graphene Flagship’s Press Coordinator and Communication Officer, Dr Sian Fogden, who is a founding member of Anionica. She spoke about the difficult road to nanotech commercialisation. Talking of the importance of role models, this talk aimed at telling the story of a woman’s experience across science and industry.