We don’t want to kill all the men.

Although women are doing very well in the sciences, there are still very few female professors. And in fact, no one thinks that will change soon, as revealed at a meeting on International Women’s Day.

“Half of the students at VU are women, and half of the lecturers too, but in higher areas the percentage of women remains around 25 percent,” said Marcel Nolin of the Executive Board at the start of yesterday’s meeting. 3D center in the context of International Women’s Day. When asked where the University of Victoria would be in a year’s time, he said he would target 33 per cent female professors.

to dream

That’s where VU officially hopes to be in a few years, but we’ll make good on Nollen’s promise in a year. “That’s good,” he said. “I know we won’t reach that goal next year, but I can dream, right?” “We can’t break iron with our hands, but we should be able to do it faster than it is now,” he told 3D Program Coordinator Miranda Van Holland, who interviewed him. “We have high on the agenda.”

There were about 40 people, mostly women, who were asked by Nolen what they thought the executive board should do to break through the glass ceiling at VU. Someone suggested that more female role models were needed, and that idea clearly caught on. Nolen suggested that Ad Valvas present a female scientist as a role model each month. When someone suggested that the underrepresentation of women in senior positions was not something many men were concerned about, Nolin protested that it was indeed a problem for men, too.

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kill men

A number of clubs introduced themselves to the audience: Patricia Fierro, Chair of the College of Science Student Council, spoke for women in STEM, committed to getting more women into technical or science studies. Linguist Lena Karvovskaya represented Women @ VU. “We don’t want to kill all men,” she said, “we want to move forward together so that everyone can be the best version of themselves.”

Singer Louise Hensen and pianist Megyn Kim of FIERE WOMEN performed the musical intermezzos with vintage feminist jazz songs. This was followed by a panel discussion with postdoctoral researcher Tamarind Haven, PhD student Esther Plumb, and sports scientist Julia Haven. The moderator was Director of Student Affairs and Education Wilma van Weizenbeek, who noted that the panel consisted of only CIS women.

Sexism in teams

The conversation was about how open science, which seeks a more open and transparent way of doing science, contributes to greater inclusivity and diversity. Plumb believes this is disappointing for the time being, because the results of the research are still not available to many, and the old structures in the academic world are left intact.

Replacing the traditional resume with a “narrative” resume, which not only lists accomplishments but also considers acquired knowledge, experience, and other relevant matters in a narrative fashion, Haven said, has not resolved the fact that job application bias remains, as employers select similar employees to themselves.

According to Huff, open science does not solve the gender segregation in the division of roles within scientific teams. She said that women are mostly in supporting roles.

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A bit skeptical

Everyone was, in Half’s words, “a little skeptical” about the recognition. In recognition and appreciation, the focus is on teams rather than individual scientists, “but grants still only go to individuals,” says Huff.

The same doubts were echoed from the audience. “Teaching assistants are mostly men,” someone said, and teachers only take men seriously. “Women are asked what they can do to make it better, but of course it comes down to what men should do.” Another commented that nothing changes as long as women are always assigned support roles on the team.

Chief diversity officer Roward Gansevoort suggested that the solution might also lie in choosing the type of research to be conducted. Plumb noted that because of the way research is funded, researchers primarily look at the research that has the best chance of being funded. This is not necessarily research that interests them personally.

Haven told a disturbing tale at the end. When she sat in front of a panel of men at a job interview, someone asked her “if she’s one of those feminists.”

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