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Empowering Women in Science

Workshop brings career advice to female scientists in Africa

16/10/2018 - Kigali, Rwanda

At the opening session of the Career Development Workshop for Women in Science being held at ICTP's new partner institute in Rwanda, the East African Institute for Fundamental Research (EAIFR), co-organiser Shobhana Narasimhan shared some sobering statistics: whether they are in the developed regions of North America and Europe or in the less-advantaged region of Sub-Saharan Africa, women researchers make up only 32% and 31% respectively of the total in their regions.

Watch the video summary of the workshop

 EAIFR-OWSD Workshop (1)
 Scenes from the Career Development Workshop for Women in Science (photos: Giovanni Ortolani/ICTP)

Her comments set the stage for the workshop, which takes place from 16 to 19 October. Narasimhan, a professor of theoretical sciences at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore, India, has organised three such workshops at ICTP. This latest one, the first to be held in Kigali, covers essential skills that women scientists need to improve the parity of female representation in science, from preparing a strong CV to negotiating in the workplace.

“Sisterhood is a powerful tool,” she told the workshop participants, “If we work together we can achieve great things.”

ICTP representative George Thompson, head of the Office of Strategic Planning and Education, highlighted the importance of the workshop in his welcome remarks. “Workshops like this are very much needed; women can provide important solutions to the problems the world faces,” he said.

The event was organized by the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) and the Rwandan Association for Women in Science and Engineering (RAWISE). OWSD Vice President Olubukola Babalola urged the workshop participants to “do good science.” She elaborated, “We can make a voice by the type of research we do, and how we compose ourselves. We can change the stereotypes.”

Photos from the workshop are available here and here.

--Mary Ann Williams