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Restructuring stereotypes in materials science – Graphene Flagship encourages women in STEM

​By: Graphene Flagship

According to the Breaking the Barriers report by the Royal Society of Chemistry, 99 per cent of female chemists evidence a lack of progression for women in the sector. To encourage a more diverse community in this field, the Graphene Flagship is hosting a specialist Women in Graphene career development day, held at the National Graphene Institute, Manchester on 11 and 12 February 2019.  

Coinciding with the International Day of Women and Girls in STEM, Women in Graphene aims to connect women working in the sector through a series of biannual meetings and the establishment of a peer-to-peer support network.  

As part of a two-day program, the first day seminar contains a series of talks and workshops aiming to support the career development of women working in graphene. This includes a presentation of the RSC’s Breaking the Barriers report, an examination of women’s progression in the chemical sciences, which will be led by Laura Norton, inclusion and diversity manager at the RSC. 

Prof. Sarah Haigh, professor of materials characterisation at the University of Manchesterwill also deliver a talk at the seminar focusing on her adventures imaging atoms. Haigh’s presentation will be followed by a keynote speech from Dr Jess Wade of Imperial College London 

An established academic in materials science, and an advocate for women in STEM, Wade famously wrote over 460 Wikipedia entries in her efforts to get female scientists noticed. Wade has been involved in several projects to improve gender inclusion in science, having been recognised as one of Nature’s ten people who mattered in 2018. Wade will share her fascinating experience with the Women in Graphene participants. 


Established by the Graphene Flagship, the Women in Graphene initiative aims to create a more gender diverse scientific community,” explained Dr Siân Fogden, event organiser of Women in Graphene, Graphene Flagship event. “Held over two days, the Women in Graphene career development day will equip attendees with the inspiration, support and knowledge to pursue their career goals in the realm of materials science.  

Following the first day of seminars, Springboard Consultancy will be running a career development workshop for participants on Tuesday 12 February.  To attend, visitors are encouraged to register their interest in advance via the Graphene Flagship website. This will ensure they receive full program information and the first alerts about potential travel grants for early stage career researchers. 

More information on the Women in Graphene initiative and career development day can be found on the Graphene Flagship website, along with a video from last year’s Women in Graphene event. Visitors can also register their attendance in advance using the online form 

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Publishing date: 22 January 2019 15:00