Women for Science
Authoring Institution
Release Date
June 1, 2006

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  • Science and engineering academies as honorific societies

    All academies in the world share the characteristic that they honour the achievements of eminent scientists and engineers. The Advisory Panel recommends that they take the following steps to become societies hospitable to and inclusive of women scientists and engineers:

    •  Put gender issues on the agenda
      Some academies have appointed a person or created an office responsible for gender-equity issues. Preferably, a committee with responsibility for diversity—and that reports directly to the academy leadership —is to be established. That committee should enlist academy members, women and men alike, committed to women’s full inclusion. Working with the president and council, it charts a course of action, and regularly monitors progress.
    •  Increase the number of women academy members
      A fundamental way of increasing the membership of women is by widening the nomination pool of eligible women scientists and engineers. The academy president leads by reminding members of the need to correct women’s low representation and by proposing initiatives to enlarge it. The diversity committee complements the president’s efforts by, among other things, collecting and distributing names of eligible women candidates to nominating committees.
    • Increase the visibility of women scientists and engineers
      Academies are asked to include women among the scientists and engineers they portray in their publications and websites, recognize them at academy events and invite them to make presentations, and pay attention to gender balance on speakers ’ platforms.
    • Offer awards, grants, and fellowships
      The Advisory Panel asks that academies encourage the nomination of women scientists and engineers for prestigious awards and that they explicitly call, in their announcements of grants and fellowships, for nominations of women, encourage them to apply, and ensure that there is gender balance on the decision-making juries.
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