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New Crowdsourced Initiative to Build Support for Women in STEM #WiSTEMspotlight

11th October 2016
 | Katy Alexander

Draft Community Guidelines on How to Best Support Women in STEM

Digital Science and Ada Lovelace Day (ALD), an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), are crowdsourcing a list of practical guidelines to support women in STEM to mark this year’s Ada Lovelace Day.

These actionable guidelines were developed at a gathering of science pioneers and activists hosted by Digital Science in London titled: Championing Success and Avoiding the Echo Chamber. The event hosted a panel discussion, including participants from The Guardian, The Conversation, Cambridge University and the European Space Agency, to discuss the best ways men and women can support women working in STEM.

Anyone can add to the open working guideline document here.

Working Document

Currently in draft format, we are calling others to get involved to develop the guidelines and principles, which currently include the following actions for men and women:

  • Parity in the media: Ask women to speak about their work and research, rather than just diversity issues. Aim for 50:50 expert voices across the media.
  • Parity at the podium: Support women speaking at STEM events and refuse to speak or attend all-male panels
  • Educate your children: Talk to children and share the successes of women in STEM, and encourage young girls into science from kindergarten age
  • Become a mentor: Ensure that women are mentored, by either other women or men, and provide opportunities for women to be mentors, to both women and men
  • Advocate for senior leadership support
  • Ensure that workplace socialising is inclusive and takes into account diverse needs, such as parents’ needs to be home on time.
  • Acknowledge unconscious bias: Don’t make women feel differently in the workplace
  • Diversity isn’t just gender: Consider how different minority communities are affected by workplace policies and biases
  • Ensure you champion each other: Make a plan to support other women, and perhaps draw inspiration from the White House

Suw Charman-Anderson, founder of Ada Lovelace Day, said:

“We are excited to be able to offer concrete and practical advice for how researchers, policy makers, journalists and others can support women in STEM. These guidelines offer a good start, but we need to create a broader conversation around actions that can really make a difference on a day-to-day basis, so we are asking the global community to get involved and share their ideas. We hope that these guidelines will inspire people around the world to support women in STEM.”

Ada Lovelace Wikimedia Commons
Ada Lovelace Wikimedia Commons

Each year, ALD hosts a flagship science cabaret event, while independent groups put on their own events around the world. This year, Ada Lovelace Day Live! Will take place at The IET, on October 11th. ALD was also a proud winner of the prestigious Digital Science Catalyst Grant to help deliver two innovative online, interactive tools to advance women’s achievements in STEM.