A dinner for Women in Science dinner was held at Teatro Vivaldi (ANU) on 28 September.The dinner, which was part of Combio2014, was attended by sixty-five people, including thirteen ANU staff and students.
A panel of six female scientists from all around Australia discussed ideas and initiatives that could help close the gender gap observed in science. One of the main points of the discussion was that women in science need champions more than just mentors, people who will push them forward, for example for promotion. It was also highlighted that a cultural shift is needed before people accept, for example, that men can take time off to take care of their children. In the meantime, a supportive work environment and partner remain essential for a woman to have a successful career.
The panellists were Margaret Barbour (University of Sydney), Rachel Burton (University of Adelaide), Adele Holloway (University of Tasmania), Helen Irving (Monash University), Martha Ludwig (University of Western Australia) and Sudha Rao (University of Canberra).
The event was co-sponsored by the ANU Gender Institute, the Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis, the Centre of Excellence for Plant Energy Biology, the University of Canberra, the Australian Society of Plant Scientists, the Australian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Nectar (the Early Career Scientists and Academics association of the ANU). It was organized by Anne-Sophie Dielen, Britta Forster and Elena Martin-Avila, with the very kind support of Florence Danila, Viridiana Silva-Perez, Christina Delay, Marlene Reichel and Sabrina Chin.
The event was a success and will happen again next year as part of Combio2015.