7th HLF – Panel Discussion: The Gender Gap in Science

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Video in TIB AV-Portal: 7th HLF – Panel Discussion: The Gender Gap in Science

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7th HLF – Panel Discussion: The Gender Gap in Science
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2019
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Panel: The Gender Gap in Science Mathematical and natural sciences have long and honorable traditions of participation by highly creative women contributors. However, the percentages of women scientists remain shockingly low and there is a significant gender gap at all levels between women and men. Barriers to achievement by women persist, especially in developing countries. The international and interdisciplinary project “A Global Approach to the Gender Gap in Mathematical, Computing, and Natural Sciences: How to Measure It, How to Reduce It?” (2017-2019) is producing sound data to support the analysis of the gender gap and the choices of interventions that the International Council for Science (ICSU) and its member unions can feasibly undertake. Moreover, the project aims to provide easy access to materials proven to be useful in encouraging girls and young women to study and pursue education in mathematics and natural sciences. The panel will discuss the various aspects of the gender gap, the progress of the project and the agenda for the near future. Panelists: Ragni Piene University of Oslo Marie-Francoise Roy Institut de recherche mathématique de Rennes, Chair of the Executive Committee of the Gender Gap Project Margo Seltzer University of British Columbia Jessica Carter University of Southern Denmark Anna Wienhard (via Skype) Heidelberg University Anna Vasilchenko Young researcher, Newcastle University Fernando Seabra Chirigati Young researcher, New York University The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation or any other person or associated institution involved in the making and distribution of the video.
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[Music] so hello everybody
I think we're ready to start very little on overtime but we'll do it anyway so this is a panel discussion on the gender gap in the mathematical sciences and computer science and part of it is going to be a report by metaphor squad on a
project which is an extra project and you will hear more about it which is why the gender gap comes in in the title also in this project we just briefly say who we are so I'm Rodney Pina from University of Oslo I'm a mathematician I'm at the HLF
because of the involvement with the Abel prize so also the Norwegian Academy of Science and letters the panelists are Mary Frances hua from university of end she's a mathematician she's the coordinator of this gender project the extra gender project that she will tell you about the next panelist will be with us on skype she's on Naveen Hart she's
mathematician from the University of Heidelberg and she's on the Scientific Committee of the HLS next is Jessica
Carter she's in the history of mathematics that's her specialty she's from the Southern University of Denmark then there is Margo Seltzer she's in computer systems professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in Canada and then we have two young researchers Fernando karate he's at he's opposed doc now New York University computer science he's originally from Brazil he has his PhD from New York NYU sorry this is weird there must be some artificial intelligence going on here and then the last one not least is analysis ranked coach is also in computer science but with an interest in mathematical education also and we will hear also from this tube but now I would like first to give the word to massiveness awesome yes hello ok so I
have to present you very quickly our project which is called a global approach to the gender gap in mathematical computing and Natural Sciences how to measure it how to reduce it okay so that's the group leading the project as we were at UNESCO in 2017 when the project begun and in fact it's project which is funded by the International Science Council and we have 11 partners I'm not going to name all of them but I'm just insisting on the one related to mathematics or computer science which is the International mathematical union also I see I am which is the Union for Applied and industrial mathematics and also ACM the Association for Computing Machinery as well as other bodies like UNESCO wsg and so on so 11 groups and again I'm not going to talk in details the objective of the other project but basically we had three tasks and I'm going to present you what we did in were very quickly what we did in one in each of these three tasks so the first task was survey which was an enquiry for scientists from our disciplines and we were able to have 32,000 respondents male and female and that's how they were distributed it's this map is slightly misleading because for example you see it seemed that China had a lot of answers but in fact it was not really the case just because China is such a huge country in fact places where we had really a good number of answers where Western Europe Latino America and India and Japan but in any case it was really kind of I think it's the first time that we had so many an enquiry we with so many respondents on this on this topic so there were many many questions I cannot present you the results of all the questions I just presented one so what we do this from the survey that really the gender gap is is is everywhere and one aspect we wanted to document the difference between more developed and less developed countries so we just use the International Development Index idh in order to make the connection for the distinction between these two these two kind of countries and here you see the question was about people who personally encountered sexual harassments at school of work and you can see that the proportion of the population which is meeting sexual harassment is female and female for more developed countries 30% while the corresponding male is only is only 3% and in less developed countries it's also more than 20,000 22,000 and then there was another question did you personally I'm indeed so that was for personal experience but there was another question which was about did you see it happened in your environment and again the much more women who see it happen than men it happens but they didn't see it okay now the second part of our project was to study the publication patterns so in this case rather than looking for individual and queries where people answer and and it's difficult to to have some very say exact picture of the situation was this publication patterns was about extracting information for existing that bibliographical databases so for mathematics it was the database called central blood and also archive over disciplines and there was an gender insurance algorithm for names so from the name of the person you deduce if it's male female or we had also third category of people who don't who don't want to answer the question so in particular this doesn't work for China and this is very unfortunate because there are many many publications from China and you see that if you looked at the number of ourselves through time so starting from 1970 and to now you see that the pop ups works the total number of authors who anonymously I mean from four thousand to fifteen thousand number of authors not number of publications right but the double the period and the proportion of women did grow rather linearly I would say from 10 percent to 25 percent but if we look now at the proportion of women who are publishing in very high-level journals in mathematics this is the situation so you see the other graphs are from one to twenty percent and you can see that basically except in some small numerical area like siam journal numerical mathematics basically there are very few also in probability there is basically absolutely no move in the proportion of women who are publishing in these journals even though the proportion of women came from twenty ten to twenty five percent over the period is always less than ten percent for this very highly refined journals and with in many cases absolutely flat soap so it's maybe related also to the fact that there are very few low weights were female this also the reason why we are having this discussion today it's not the case in all the disciplines for example unis follow me the the tendencies is quite different it's over the period the same period is going from like three percent to twenty percent with also progress for all the main journals in the disciplines so there is really something specific for the gender gap in mathematics okay then we add also what we call the database of good practices so the idea is whenever there is an initiative in a given country we want to make it public so that maybe other people get inspired by the by the initiative so we are using some UNESCO classification would be called see goal STI goal and basically we we have a few information about about the initiative and also we asked if people will launch the initiative of some evidence of 50 steps and and impact because in fact you can have the best I mean the best intentions in the world and certain initiative but it's not necessarily followed by by success and this database is going to be hosted dominantly by IMU at the end of the project and the new initiatives will be added in the in the future okay so we hope to have recommendations from this project but we don't have them yet because they are going to be drawn during the three last month of the project which from now or two to the end of 2019 and in particular we are organizing a final conference at IC TP from four to eight November what we were going to have 110 30 supports from 60 countries and only 10% of them are male and one reason is that we wanted to maximize how many countries are going to be attending so we picked up one person the country and of course in many cases it was not a man because most people were active in this area are currently women so we are working on the possible continuation of this project after three years because it was just two stops and there is a future program from the International Science Council which is called what works for women and we hope to be able to coordinate the conclusions of our project with this new program so thank you thank you very much
the next we will hear from is she's in
Berkeley so we will have her on skype I hope on now the in heart and I think I
forgot to say that we'll have questions and discussions and comments after everybody has talked okay yes please hello so I don't see anything so I have I don't even see my own video so perhaps if I could see a view of the lecture hall or something would be helpful
okay so I hope you see me so I want to add something on a much more personal level in essence then what mother fools did and I want to give you a bit of background on Who I am so a lot Rodney already said I'm a professor at Patrick's at Hydra University and research completed the heidelbergensis studies before coming back to Heidelberg I spent seven years in the US five of them professor at Princeton and currently I'm at Mathematica science research it Berkley organizing the research syndicate semester and that's also I can only be there remotely so but it's a pleasure to see at least the camera though nice so a person must say I never felt any visit ultimate in being a woman mathematics throughout my career but at the same time they always fight
well implement best practice examples hurt moving and healing automatics and Sciences they said of a add some of people to be high school students at Princeton I built up a entering network well we made in mathematics at Heidelberg University and I also tried to crack research which is fair charge in a very loose event supportive way and I'm very happy that for 50% of the 12th Enid my wishes are actually women though I'm happy to take this if you want to know but were preparing for this panel what they did expected to fit on my own experience it what was important for me on my career path depending a professor at ethics and I want to share some of these respects with you so the first topic I want french are role models so we're all mothers we always that's very important and let's say for me personally they were not so important partly because
they've got that many reporters I wanted to follow so it's my own way but what was very important so mentors were key at several stages of my career and if I look back at the most enters were not women but then and often they were not enters I had but senior scientists who took an interest in my work and supported me another very important thing for me was to that I was lucky to always have a very stimulating research environment so this was not just senior people but also always a some more nice group of peers postdocs graduate students and a junior faculty which created a very supportive environment and the third thing which I think helped in pursuing my career path and dealing with things as they well went as it went along was a certain daringness and also positive attitude towards the future so in some sense I always believe that things will work out even if sometimes they didn't but then other things work out and keeping a positive attitude made things much nicer in the presence and also more open in the future so if you want you can take some of these reflections as an a piece of advice which would be look out for mentors try to find a stimulating research environment and always try to keep a positive attitude towards the present and the future [Music]
thank thank you Anna now the next we will hear from Miss Jessica Carter hello and thank you I
will address the question why is there a
gender gap in science and look at three different responses to this question and for each of these responses I will formulate a question that we can discuss after our presentations so too often mentioned problems or culture and bias in relation to culture I would like to mention a study made by Danish anthropologist as an example so by enrolling as a physics students in in Copenhagen University and interviewing other female students she found that even talented women did not want to apply for a PhD stipend because they did not feel welcome in the academic setting she detected many by themselves small incidents of sarcastic comments hints hurtful remarks and jokes that together formed their culture of the department another story is the recent success of the IT University of Copenhagen to attract many more female students to this computer science degrees they have been able to do this by changing their communication and how they advertise their degrees but when these students graduate there will be snapped away by the local companies who have long since long found out their value and the advantage of diversity they will be offered high salaries and good working conditions and so the question is how can we compete with that so the first question I like to is how can we change the culture so that everybody feel included in wish to stay in academia and so the second one unconscious bias is present everywhere and you will hear more about that in a minute and yet academia often cited paper claim that bias in grant and manuscript reviewing interviewing and hiring is to blame for the low number of female researchers or what is referred to as the leaky pipeline an article written by Steven ceci and Wendy Williams however challenged this and they say that large-scale analysis have shown that the large-scale analysis failed to support assertions of discrimination these tomates even though their paper may be considered a bit provocative and the validity of these large-scale analysis may be discussed and even and and also it is the case that many reports contradict what they say here but I would I would like to focus on two other points they make one which may be a good point is that given the same bad resources men and women are equally productive perhaps not in higher levels as many points was just told you but the problem is that women more often get stuck in positions or teaching his positions and positions with high admin load so the problem we could address is how to make sure that women end up in position with equal resources for doing research another thing they point to is that the lack of female researchers reflect their own preferences and choices whether freely constrained or freely made or constrained by structural reasons so there are many questions to formulate here one is that what can be done concerning the factors that influence women's choices that is their interests lifestyle choices family formation gendered expectations or stereotypes and career preferences the third challenge which is a challenge to all talented young people who wish to pursue a career in academia and so for us if we wish to keep them is referred to as the rocky road to tenure in a recent book from 2015 so in this book a number of young researchers from various EU countries are interviewed and the words they used to characterise traits needed in order to pursue an academic career is a bit discomforting they use words like persistence obstinacy the that you have to endure uncertainty and things like that and different reports including this book document the recent changes that the universities have made it even more difficult to succeed more demands and doctoral students more competitions to get postdoc positions and permanent position the result is longer periods of fixed term positions traveling and no guarantee of a success in the end a recent Danish report has shown that the percentage of scholars obtaining a permanent position of the six years of finishing PhD studies has dropped since 2002 and this has become even worse for women who has children finally I'd like to mention that besides the gender gap project there are and has been many other projects and institution focusing on this problem these projects have collected statistics good practices and developed their course packages for example with information that would be useful for all the young researchers on some career planning and university politics in such light there is also a report on various forms of resistance to gender projects including proposals on how to deal with it they document that it is not only hostility towards woman that is to blame there are many other reasons to mention just one lack of resources for examples and other important problems that we have to deal with such as climate changes but given all this my last question is or hope maybe I could formulate it as given all this knowledge that that we can actually put it to some use for and have some actual change thank you Thank You Jessica now we're here to
listen to Margot now we're ready for the audience-participation part of this program so get your noses out of your laptops forget reading email how many of you have ever been asked in a somewhat incredulous tone you're a mathematician or you're a computer scientist anyone okay I want you to look around the room at most of the hands they're female they're also minority we're talking
about gender but under-representation is
enormous problem you know to go back to yesterday's talk from Martin this is a moral imperative we are losing a huge fraction of our talent because of what's happening in our field to people who aren't underrepresented groups and let me be clear solving this problem is not going to be done by the underrepresented it is our collective responsibility so if you are in the room today you have a role to play in helping to fix this problem some more audience participation how many of you in a professional setting have ever been asked if you planned to have children Hey look around the room again
what you're seeing is what we call implicit bias now implicit bias is what Nobel laureate conovan refers to a system one thinking it's that knee-jerk reaction that you can't consciously control implicit bias doesn't make us bad people implicit bias makes us human it's an evolutionary trait that helped us you know avoid large hungry animals on the savanna it's what allowed us to form tribes and cultures so in and of itself it's not that implicit bias is bad it's what we do with it so how many of you have ever heard of an implicit association test again look around the room it's mostly the underrepresented people so this is an online test that you can all take and this is your homework assignment go to implicit Harvard et you and take two implicit bias tests I don't care what category you do you can do gender you can do race you can do age you can do disability whatever take two of them it will take you about ten minutes and I will warn you you will feel uncomfortable you will learn things about yourself you wish were not true and while you are taking the test you will feel yourself responding in a way that makes you uncomfortable and yet I'm asking you all to do that every good meeting you leave with action items this is your action item go take two I eighties so what do you do if you have biases I just said that doesn't make you a bad person what does make you a bad person is if a you refuse to acknowledge your biases and B you do nothing to mitigate them so let me reveal I test biased against women in science I am a woman in science how can this be well I grew up in a culture where girls didn't do science you know it wasn't cool to do math and science by the time I was in middle school even though I liked to those things I am a product of my culture so what do I do to make sure that I don't then instill these biases against my students I grade blindly I change my hash all the names of the exams I grade them as random numbers and then I unhatched them after so let me share a story with you I teach operating systems which is the bastion of testosterone if we have 20% women in the class it's shocking it's usually closer to 10% so one year I using my best practices I blinded all the exams I graded them I had three women in the class and when I unblinded them guess who had the top three grades my three women and I was surprised but that is why I grade blindly and I sat there and I had a long conversation with myself which I'm sure looked to people around me you know why was it that I didn't realize I knew all these women I talked to them regularly but even me I had not realized that they were my top students now I could feel bad about this but instead I just redoubled my efforts to make sure that no matter what my knee-jerk reactions were I wasn't treating them differently every time I meet a new student I kind of have this mental dialog in my head which is you don't know anything about them you have to assume they're really talented because they're here so I urge you all to a learn what some of your biases are even if it's uncomfortable and then B start to develop techniques to avoid this how many of you are familiar with the orchestra experiment
oh good I can share it with you used to be that orchestras were predominantly male and there were all these
explanations well men have bigger lungs so they can play the wind instruments and they're stronger so they can play longer and there are gazillions of explanations of why orchestras were predominantly male and then they started doing auditions with the screen separating the judges from the players guess what happened orchestras are no longer predominantly male they are starting to achieve gender parity since they've been doing this so I don't know how else to convince you that this is a real problem and so what you can do again a learn your biases to make this your problem if you look at the literature it takes women on average 10 years longer to be nominated for awards than their male counterparts they have to have more publications more grants bigger results and 10 more years in the field before they get nominated for the same award that the men do so if you are in a position to nominate people ask yourself the first people I think of maybe are the guys but if I think about it are there women or other underrepresented groups that I'm missing I'll close with one last story a friend of mine is a department chair whenever they're doing a search they will call many of their friends and say hey we're looking to hire faculty anyone you can recommend every single time they have that conversation the first three people who are mentioned are men and then they say well you know we're interested in you know enhancing our departments diversity is there anyone else you can recommend and it usually takes a minute but then they get three more names and then what they do is say terrific you've given me six people could you sort them for me and never in the entire time they have done this experiment as the ordering been first three second three so what this tells you is that when forced to think about it there are in fact really talented highly ranked people who are in these underrepresented groups but because of our humanity and the cultures in which we've grown up they don't necessarily come to the front of our minds so is there a problem you bet are there ways to solve it you bet who's going to solve it we are [Music]
[Applause] [Music] Thank You Margot now we will hear from Fernando can you hear him can you hear me okay all right I'll start by saying that given this existing gender gap I consider myself very lucky because I had two extraordinary female advisors throughout my research careers so the first one was during my undergrad when I actually got interested in research and it was Professor Martin matazo from feather inverse originator back in Brazil and then the second one was my PhD advisor professor juliana freddy at nyu who is still my boss for my postdoc and they are like brilliant researchers and I had an amazing opener to work with them and I don't think I could have asked for better advisors and the first time I got to NYU to the lab she was very new at NYU and I was actually her first PhD student at that lab and there were very few women actually if you don't consider faculty and visiting scholars there were zero woman and seven years later we have like perhaps like 30% 40% of women and I find this amazing because I still don't see that very common in many labs that I visit and in terms of faculty there are actually six faculty members and half of them are women and it's just an amazing environment it makes everything better because the sharing of experiences sharing of ideas it's very much improved and I've heard in the past like people saying oh there's no gender gap in science it's just that women are just not interested in science and I was I always felt that was weird because most of my I mean I have many female friends and most of them are science so maybe I have like a bias sampling and but then I have a very good friend of mine and she is a librarian and she tells me that like perhaps like 80 90 percent of librarianship is women and yet more than half of the leadership positions are given to man so clearly there's still a gap even in areas that are dominated by women and and this doesn't even count the wage gap which is much bigger I think like women are paid like 70 to 80 percent as compared to the men in librarianship and and I think the problem is it's not that women are not interested in science but they are not given the opportunity to actually be interested in science and I think this goes back a little bit sure what Jessica and Margo mention which is the unconscious bias in the culture so I'm originally from Brazil and when I was growing up I used to get as toys building blocks puzzles and when I was 11 I had my hands in the first computer which is how I got interested in computer science and my female friends they got Barbie dolls miniature of kitchens and they were expected by their moms to help them in the kitchen and to cook which it's not a big problem but it becomes a problem when you have different expectations for different genders and I love cooking I love baking and no one ever expected me to know these things because I was supposed to be studying so I think we as young researchers I think we have the responsibility because we are going to be raising the next generation to kind of like be aware of this unconscious bias and improve things for the next generation and I just want to finalize I don't spend too much time also saying that although this is like gender gap we I don't think we can talk about gender without also talking about race because these things are very related and I have a very good friend of mine she's F for Brazilian and she got up she is a professor now at a mathematics Institute back in Brazil and when she first got there it was for women among 23 professors and she still is the only ever Brazilian so things are hard like if you consider gender and they are even harder if you take race into account so I think when we talk about actions we also need to consider and think about that and now I'm going to pass the torch to my colleague thank you okay do you hear me
I'm not gonna tell anything more scientifically about gender gap I'm here to tell my personal story it is a story about as an example of a good outreach which could be a solution to gender gap
problem so this is my second HLF I came here five years ago as a journalist my first degree is in journalism and mass communications and I had a master's in education and although I was always interested and fascinated by technology and science I never really seriously considering doing something as a job in science but then I came here and I had a opportunity to talk to many many great people like the first girl here and many young researchers the most memorable moment from that HLF was sitting on a boat talking to a mantra hava about beauty of mathematics about application of mathematics about what mathematics and science in general is and that kind of opened my mind and I started to understand science in a different way about it about the same time I learned what human-computer interaction is as I felt and I say oh I actually think my expertise could be useful in that felt so soon after returning furniture love to thousand 14 I started to work on a project proposal which soon after allowed me to won a scholarship to do PhD in one of the leading HCI lab in United Kingdom so today I'm here as a young researcher doing my PhD in educational technology and I think it's just an example of how one person could persevere and convince another person thinking about science in a different way so if someone here would do the same as module D to me we could have a bit more women a bit more different races and different backgrounds in insight we could invite them more in science and maybe it could help this gender gap problem thank you so will now open for men part of this event which is you guys participating so we will have asked for questions comments things you want to say from the audience and you can ask the panelist specifically or you can just ask or comment in general and there will be microphones that should be thrown around I think there is one already the first row thank you for not throwing the microphone at me it's it's
Vince Cerf and this is a question for all the members of the panel I'm very interested to hear more about what has
worked if anything has worked about dealing with the reversal of this of this gap so perhaps you could explore a little bit more about what works and what doesn't work that might help the rest of us anybody so I'll share a couple of things one I recently moved to Canada about a year ago and I was recruited to Canada in a program called the C 150 program and it's part of the materials that universities needed to prepare they had to put a statement not about how they hired a diverse pool but how did they conduct their search to ensure that they had a diverse pool so that was the requirement of the 24 scientists from around the world recruited to Canada 50% of them were women so it starts with how you define your pool it's why you tell people we are particularly interested in candidates from underrepresented groups because if you don't ask they won't think about it and also to build on what Ana said it's also about encouraging the people who don't think they apply or they're qualified it's encouraging them to say yes actually you are qualified and you should apply so I think those are the two direct things that people who have ability to structure searches and also people who have the ability to encourage people can start to move the needle I mentioned one example of a thing that worked in in my presentation or the IT university the first day had almost no women female student and after changing the communication so and advertising the degrees they managed to get many more and they started by interviewing female or women to figure out what is the problem so one thing is how you communicate these computer science degrees and so they found out that they should not use such technical language as they used to but a different type of line language and also telling that there are no prerequisites needed you don't have to know how to program in order to enter the programs and things and role models and I managed to double the intake in in two years and also they have figured out that when you have enough a number of female students they have a less drop out rate than the men maybe it's because of the change of the culture it's much more pleasant being there so just also one thing okay so I would like to mention something that does not necessarily work which is the idea that more you have women in committees and more there would be women hired this does not work and in fact sometimes even you know when they are all saying that there should be like 40% of women in committees and it's only 20% in the community then women get overloaded by by being in committees so I think it's much more a question of changing the global culture including man than insisting on having women in committees I can also mention about this
example that it has only also worked because the the vice-chancellor of the university has made this one of their priorities to make it where you need people higher up also supporting you I just want to reinforce what million saw said I brought up to a certain federal US funding agency that perhaps diversity was a problem in the immediate reaction
was well why don't you lead a study about it and my answer was I work on this problem every single day until the people who are not underrepresented make it their problem we won't solve it and so this is why I say collectively it is our problem and if you're feeling like oh this panel isn't about me because I you're one of the people who need to help fix the problem so thank you for asking the question
and two in the middle there can you throw the okay thank you the panel for this wonderful discussion my question is okay first of all I would like to say that I think most of this problem started from while we are growing up as children back in Africa especially although it happens in other places we have this notion that we may not supposed to the ladies are supposed to be trained on how to take care of their homes love their husbands know how to cook and all of that didn't actually focus the mind set on science or other things but there while the boy the female the milk children are sent to on how to use the computer systems on other devices that could help them in future the ladies are actually helping their mom going to the market and all of that to prepare are also most of the things that teach them is on how to keep the home and be a housewife if I may put it that way so my question is how do we reach out to these remote areas or even the Africa the Africa most of the African countries in general so how do we reach to reach out to them to have an alternative mindset about this whole gender gap thing thank you sure I'll take the mic so first of all I I hesitate to even suggest that I might have an answer because I think there's a certain arrogance in in my privileged position being able to say that I have an answer so with that as context you know it's impossible for us to change our ancestors and so I think our hope lies in the next generation so I've only traveled to Africa once but what I saw are the after-school programs that try to encourage children of both genders to stay in school study hard and do that and so I have to believe that those are the structures where we as individuals can have impact whether it's volunteering our time providing resources and and making sure that the opportunities are equal we we won't change the prior culture we can change the culture for our children for your children and we can try to get the message out but I think it's really a grassroots thing I think it's getting into the after-school programs and the communities and exposing so one of my former colleagues runs a programming camp in called Addis coder and I believe I don't think I'm exaggerating that he gets equal numbers of boys and girls in these programs and these kids often go on to elite universities and become scientists so I think we can start to move the needle but it's a real personal investment of time and energy and resources and I don't know I I don't know what else to say experience yeah I mean of course things are changing also very rapidly in African countries with more and more girls going to school as was just mentioned and there is also an association for women in mathematics in Africa that gets very active and also I think one aspect good show in Africa is that very often women when they average side for example they are maybe less isolated than we are in Western countries in the sand that there is always the mother the elder sister and every whole group of women who can help and I think we can give opportunities for women in science for example to travel by giving giving them special grants that they can use to have their child supported by other women from the family for example during during the visits so we can also base some aspects of what we do on the local culture which is maybe much more collective - towards children education then we have with our nuclear families so I think that's also a possibility that - to have this women who want to do science supported well of course also by men from the family but by by the correct ivities of women I think that helps I mean I was actually a father the
same thing as Margot said because it's I don't think I have like an exact solution but I think it's really hard to change the past culture I cannot even convince my parents about politics so you know I don't have any hopes I already lost my hope to try to talk politics so it's but we have a chance with the next generation right we are the ones who are going to be raising the
next generation so it might be a slow process we probably won't be able to change everything in a year but I think like throughout the years I think we have the opportunity to change the next generation should be aware of their unconscious bias so that this doesn't happen but there is no much okay you'll get it after hello thankfully for the lecture my question is a we I school is a local community in understate Nigeria and I my question goes to the chair a decorative committee of gender gap project and not I don't know if like in high school google has a platform called women in
tech what I notice in my department is we observe all around 50 in one department one level and none of the women can could and through this platform we able to encourage women to code but I don't know if gender gap project can be extended so my university because we only we are only within the university community we we will now extend to the district of the local area I don't know how this this platform can help people in my community that's my question
okay so I mean as you have seen I mean this gender gap project was really a little group of people about 40 people representative at their various scientific unions and what we hope now that after we conclude and we have a report then we are going to distribute all the conclusions and recommendations and people can can take them locally and and see what they they can do locally I
mean we we want to to have ideas just fighting out and being distributed every year by the way I wanted to ask you who had heard already about this survey of science this I mean I told you we had 32,000 answers so who okay very few people okay and we've been really doing huge efforts during several month through our unions in order to to which scientists so it's not easy it would take it will take a long time but if you have an initiative that you like the local initiative that you like and you've seen that it is effective please communicate about it by writing I mean there will be a platform for this database of good initiatives so we use the gender gap then you can also use your own experience in order to to distribute your IDs who through this platform so I believe it would be a long process so let's start so it's more of a
comment regarding the questions that mrs. Carter I opposed so regarding the first question it was how could we change the culture so that underrepresented group groups feel that they belong and I mean I have a comment on that I wanted to see y'all obviously the panel's opinion and also hear different opinions so it's very common at least in computer science and I've heard it from many women around the represented groups that initially you feel you don't belong and you feel you're afraid you feel you're an imposter so it happened to me as well for three years I'd be loved I thought I didn't belong in computer science even though I had really good grades in my class so I think well it's very very important and there's like a huge role of the media when it comes to that is to so diverse pictures of computer scientists it's not that just one type of computer scientist as there is no just one type of humans it's there is the outdoors the computer science the social computer scientist the human computer scientist and minorities you can you can be a computer scientist and at the same time like partying or like hiking or like other things but this is not so at all in media there is only one type the person who stays in the basement and programs and at the same time computer science obviously it's not just about programming there are soft skills included there is creativity there is teamwork there is communication of ideas and these soft skills even in university programs they tend to be ignored and then people who have these soft skills and that applies many time in women fill out these of skills are absolutely unnecessary in their careers and until they recognize that these are equally important I don't think we can move forward thank you yeah
I think it's also very important that you have role models and that it's communicated and also not just one woman but that you have several woman doing different things in order for people to identify themselves but that is a different problem maybe from from the culture problem what what goes on in their departments the way they talk about women and stuff and I don't have any good proposals how to change that other than as Vargo said that it's a problem we all should address so I think
changing culture is always hard right there's the obvious one part of it is pushing back on the negative culture so
we actually started joking it was over a decade ago that we need the the you know cool hip sitcom where they're all computer scientists and there are all genders and colors and races and doing different jobs and we've never had that right so so media has never done us the favor of trying to make computer science or math look cool I guess maybe numbers is a show that tried to make math look cool but you know it didn't last very long so one of the things is holding our institutions up to the highest possible standards so at least one of my colleagues might be in the room and might think that I did this too much but but we can all play a role in pushing back if you go to your institutions website for your department and you look at the photographs do they show a diverse workforce or not if they don't send email to your communications department and tell them that right what
kind of language do we talk about when we post jobs it turns out that if you post jobs and you list 15 things people
need the women will read those as Anne's and the men will read them as oh I've got three no problem so maybe we shouldn't list fifteen maybe we should was three right what are the real requirements for the job I was recently asked to serve on a panel for a company and so I did about 15 minutes of research I looked at the program there was no diversity statement in the program saying that they valued it and then I went to the corporate website and there was absolutely nothing on the corporate website that told me they cared about diversity and I responded that I had my values and I chose to work with organizations that espoused those values and this organization didn't and so I said no so I think again individually we can all push back and the more the cacophony of voices represents the diversity of this community the more our institutions will be forced to reckon with the fact that oh people think this is important I saw some hands up there there's one you have to throw the package at one next and then we'll deal with them thank you very much for everything you said it's really important so I am the co-founder of the association of women in mathematics in Madrid and this association is for every minority as well and we have some meetings it's only for the members but
all the events are open for everybody and several male colleagues of mine they felt excluded and they couldn't
understand the meaning of what we are doing so what do you have to comment can you comment on that okay so did you say the men were invited or they were not invited to advance everybody can be there it's open for everybody but not in the meetings so so I think for the public events you tell your members all the women bring a friend who doesn't look like you and that can be a man it can be somebody of a different race but I think the action item to all of us is to reach out to people who look different from us and encourage them so many of my male colleagues who attended Grace Hopper came back changed people because they had never been in an environment where they were the underrepresented and you go to Grace Hopper as a man and you are surrounded by women and for a moment you understand what it feels like the first time we ever held a women event for computer science at Harvard are then Dean this was 20 almost 25 years ago our then Dean went up to my other the other female in the department you know and said Wow that felt really odd do you ever feel that way and she looked him in the eye and said every day so I encourage you find an environment that is really different and go see what it feels like so more directly to your question explicitly reach out and invite the men to come tell them you want them there you want their voices and then make it worth their time tell them what they can do to help solve the problem maybe I don't know good luck let us know how it works can you move this all the
way up there can you help move the things somebody throwing it's your next my horn is more of a concern and out the way ensured that these interventions we've got into an intervention that is sustainable for instance I have a friend I started like a club trying to bridge gap in science amongst women in our country the last time I spoke with her she said she had
to step down because there was a conflict amongst the executive of that particular Club back in Nigeria I also know of a woman that started a whole Club - but when she had to leave Nigeria every of the activity had to stop so to me I feel some of this insulation is - indeed individualistic that is centered around an individual so well the individual is no longer available then the information cannot be sustained so how can we ensure that this intervention is sustained on a long-term so ok I can
only tell one story when I was at Harvard about 10 8 10 years ago a bunch of women came and said we want to start a women in CS group and my one word of advice to them was build a sustainable organization because we'd had many of these organizations before and as soon as the leaders graduated the organization's went away they said it doesn't matter what else you do you must build a sustainable organization and then I turned it over to them and oh my god did they build a sustainable organization the way they did it is that they had the leadership that was starting it but they then created like important positions and they called it the board and you had to apply to be on the board and like if you were on the board you got to go to board meetings and then they gave members on the board specific responsibilities and so this did things one it meant that they had a continuous inflow of leaders who wanted to run the organization and two they kept inventing new programs that the organization could do so that each person on the board had a real responsibility so the lesson I took from that was empowerment right get you know recruit the next group around the leadership and empower them to make a difference and start things and ideally then they can step into leadership and continue that process there may be other ways I would love to hear from people in the audience who have experience of how to build sustainable leadership in organizations because I think you have hit one of the most crucial problems right in the head I think it's a huge issue hi I have a question for Margot and here you just said I think as a reply to the first question that one of the things that is being doing now than nowadays is that when you open a call you usually say we are interested in minorities and even more extreme than that there are cases where there are calls that are open only for women don't you think this can have the reverse effect and the one desire because women win minorities in general will feel that they are dead not because of the value of the work but because they belong to a minority so yeah in case so the question was you know what about positions that are women only so in many places it is illegal to advertise a position that is only open to women so in Canada you couldn't do that in the u.s. you couldn't do that so I actually agree completely that if you advertise and say you know this is for an underrepresented group of whatever you are setting yourselves up for failure and a number of dimensions a that person feels bad be it gives everybody else the right to say you only got the job because you know you have green skin so so I actually agree with you the goal is to make sure that the process creates a diverse pool that is representative of the greater community and you know because the problem is I've served on recruiting committees right if all I have are white men in my pool I'm not going to hire any women but it really is hard and so if you don't get those applications in then you don't have a pool to select from there's a whole second part of the problem which is that these days those underrepresented candidates often have lots and lots of opportunities and recruiting them becomes very challenging but if you don't have them in your pool you lose you can't
hello no I was just going to make a comment because my many of my female friends they told me that like some people usually come to them and say like oh that person has that position because she is a woman right and it's I find it so unsettling because they are all like so brilliant it's not only because it's not because they're women because they
are brilliant and they don't have the opportunity should be there because they are women right so I think we need to also stress that we're not just like choosing them just because they're woman is because they they were not given the opportunity it should be there because they are women right so I mean in particular to these positions that advertise that they're interested in
minorities minorities will not apply just from the fact that they will think they are not being selected for the right reasons you don't agree I felt
that personally but I also like to say that it's illegal Delmar's hoping to call not long ago in the Netherlands with only four women it yeah I noticed that yeah but so another thing I mentioned these course packages with useful information for young people and that is so one thing that you is important to learn as a young researcher is how things function how jobs get posted and
how you hire at departments so learning about the sociology or politics of departments so most usually but at least in my experience the way jobs get posted is that the people already at the department have some people they know work together with of the things like that that they would like to be hired and if the most people at the department are men than their people they wouldn't know are most likely to be men so there's a lot of things going on position or not just put up for anybody to to apply for it's often a lot of things going on before a position gets up so it's I think it's very useful to know about these things so let me follow
about two points so one you know one of the beautiful things about this event is the network that you've all created and so finding out from each other who's hiring what positions are open you know spread the word because a lot does happen sort of in the back room behind closed doors and you want to be part of that Network I just want to distinguish between two different things one is advertising a position that is only available for women and minorities I think as I said before I think that is a negative message however the diversity statement which says you know we are committed to a diverse workforce you know that I think sends a message which says we actually care about these things that I think is a positive thing and I would hope that that wouldn't deter anyone from applying for a position hello so recently I hear I read a historical art
Kohn numbers of computer science students and it was the case that on the first computer science classes it was not so big gender gap there and the large inversion point was with the popularization of the personal computer and also video game consoles like home systems and the I parties was that since these machines were being heavily market and advertise it for young boys it actually changed the landscape of the people who are going to attend the computer science course actually in the case of some Brazilian universities the first computer science classes have more had more the women then men and then it totally inverted so I want to ask what do you think is the ho of advertisement and also marketing the gender gap I think
it's huge so I feel like we have a bias in the questions that they're all from
the front of the room so I would like to encourage us that we no longer have a front of room bias and we also include the back of the room but I actually think you know what you say is exactly true if we market computers to boys then we'll get boys and people have started acknowledging this I don't know that we've made things much better a lot of early exposure to computers happens through gaming and I think we're all aware of challenges that women can have in gaming environments on the other hand I was somewhat encouraged when my 12 year old boy was playing computer games and he was a raid leader and you know he would be leading all these adults and doing things that I don't understand and at one point I said like doesn't it bother them that you're 12 and he said oh no I use a voice synthesizer to tell me more and he said I play as a 28 year old woman and I said really and why is that and he said because if you're a guy and you tell people what to do they tell you to eff off but if you're a girl they listen to you and I thought I want to live in that world do we have other questions here
yes I know microphone is here stay away back to I can you pass the mic the microphone now is here I said my question actually is short remark just I'm from the Netherlands I'm from Delft University of Technology where we have a fellowship especially for women candidates for faculty I was not hired through that program but I must say it greatly increased the diversity and the interdisciplinarity in my departments it's a competitive program they took care that no so everyone just takes it for granted and actually we had good experiences with us and also with the Italian situation that's universal it now takes only the first six months when a vacancy is out only women candidates if they cannot feel after that they will take those from nil candidates formally it's illegal but if you can make a good case that it's actually really harming the balance there are exceptions to be made they are being sued at these moments by Millford candidates clearly but we're really seeing what happens because actually the the good arguments about that was if in the first six months there really cannot be any candidates and then the women apparently weren't strong enough otherwise there was a strong woman so I just wanted to mentioned it to me I think it does work and thank you and I think also one of
the points maybe my wife made was that you should always take into account the
culture so what works or do not work one place make work very well other places so it's a good example thank you so much for this panel discussion on the gender gap in science I just have a brief comment and basically I just want to
appreciate the other burglaries forum foundation and the its selection committee for the gender balance in the selection of the young researchers it's something that was profound for me and I observed it right from the very first day and I think this forum is one of the few scientific grade we have been in with a very good gender balance so I just want to appreciate the selection committee and yet a burglar with firm foundation has a hope for the diversity
in gender in the selection of the young researchers thank you
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as far as I know the the ratio female
men male among the young researchers has gone up from 20 percent in the beginning first years to 40 percent this year so there is a yeah i-i'm sorry yeah of course among the young researchers yes
and as you've seen among the noise not at all and I think also I mean for example I mean we had a field in middle which was Miami ii ii and she had never
the opportunity to present work as a as well away because unfortunately she died under the age of 40 so something that we are discussing is maybe the opportunity to have a presentation of her work in the next forum and maybe to have our work presented by someone else because she's no numa out there with us but i mean the fact that there are so few laureates is very a very big problem I mean it's related also to to the fact that we've seen in these top journals so few females so it's good to have young researchers but it would be really very good but I don't know how to to have also more senior lecturers in the in the forum I have one questions short
question okay so what I've experienced
is that in with my close friends and family also women tend to feel a lot more discouraged by the chance of failure so they don't apply for positions for which a man might apply even though he might not meet the entire criteria and the women tend to feel discouraged you know you have to really push them to you know I think you're good enough for this but even then they feel like you know they don't want to get rejected so they don't approach that how do you exactly tackle that and I
think that is something that all of us can encourage people in our lives to go
this small response I guess it has to do with upbringing in the way you bring them up as has been mentioned before so that we feel more equal but it's difficult I also think assuring them that they are not alone right so the the
empathy which is I get it like and and sharing you know being vulnerable yourself and saying sometimes I think I may not be good enough to but all the research suggests that you're more prone to feel like you're not good enough but you are right and there are lots of you know either papers or books one of my favorite books is called whistling Vivaldi it's about stereotype threat and it's all you know social science experiments they've done demonstrating the effects and how damaging it is to people and so I think the feeling like you're not alone in feeling this way but you really are good enough and just repeating that message until you get through can you move them like up in the
far corner behind them way way over there I have a question okay okay so it is something related to what we were discussing a little previously so this is something that I observed back in India which is where
I'm from the more and more you I think this is important to talk about because as a woman even I face the bias but the more and more we push it there are certain Institute's which are pushed to show that they they do have diversity in in the way they recruit so what happens as many a times the standard is brought down and this is what people who observe say maybe not maybe that's the case but I had a friend of mine who felt a particular professor who was recruited was basically their clue to not because she had amazing work but because that particular Institute had very the diversity previously so personally he knew someone who was probably better at the job than the actual professor who was recruited but then she was recruited because they wanted to show diversity and it's not something that happened only in India but I'm pretty sure it happens elsewhere too because I noticed that in the UK as well so how do you think you can strike that balance because I don't want to take up a position just because I'm a woman also because I have good good good opportunity there I am doing it because my job is really good and good at the job but I don't want it to be at the cost of reducing the standards of that particular Institute so any any comments on that so um one of the ways to make me
very angry at recruiting meetings is when somebody suggests that by doing a diverse search in looking at all the candidates we are somehow lowering the bar you know I have never ever ever seen an institution hire someone who was not qualified for the job because they filled some other box there's a myth that we tell ourselves that you can take researchers and sort them in a linear order that is the myth so whenever you talk to people that who claim there's a lowering of the bar it's really you know the bar is a myth this is a multi-dimensional optimization problem and we know that those are hard problems to solve and so the space in which someone occupies you know the space in which the candidate who gets hired occupies is in fact a Maxima on some dimensions and the problem is that we get in this model of thinking there really is this linear ordering and there isn't so I can assure you if you get hired it's because you are an outstanding scientist can you move them a mic over up in the corner so first of all thank you for all the wonderful ideas and having presented my question is regarding how do women get to being scientists because I think once you get to the scientific community there's a lot of effort that's being put into removing that gender gap but the problem on that I faced is before I came to university I think that many women as
young children they want to become scientist and then they face this this gender gap but not necessarily in university but like in primary school in secondary school and having the professor's encourage women to - well do their best and to be good in what they're doing it's not working because I felt it and people think that oh she's the favorite of the teacher and that that discrimination becomes even more than it was before so what do you think is the solution for that I'm not from Berkeley you want to
say something can you hear me yes I mean
I can so i think it's hardly what the cultural upbringing which is important to do and so we need at every stage and i agree we need that in kindergarten in preschool and in elementary school and
afterwards we need people who make an effort that you don't feel that way right and it's sometimes you also I think sometimes on the other hand you have to also encourage people that even if you feel that where you have to continue and you have to somehow push away certain feelings and also certain comments that the people may make that this is not for you or they're envious you are the favorite of the teacher or if you get a position in the topic we discussed before this is just because we are women you you I mean you have to ensure yourselves that this is not the case and that this is the route which you can follow and you you belong where you are I have the perhaps a similar message if you really want to do science you should do science and of course it's tough
being this the strange person but but also for me when I grew up I was interested it's interested in mathematics but I already moved from one country to another country so I was already strange so why not visit ranging like in mathematics too so I continued actually being strange can be a feature so you know when I go to a conference there are 10 or 15 everybody knows who I
am you know now if you aren't really great remembering names this can sometimes be a problem but you know in some sense turn the strangeness or other nough sin to a feature right people will remember you if you ask a question at the microphone at a conference people go like oh there's that smart woman from wherever right so um you know the most if you can try to turn these negative things into positive things when I was in graduate school we used to have these corporate retreats and at some point I saw that someone had sent a trip report to their boss and all the graduate students ballistas by first name last name except me I was just Margo and and I was very excited about that because there's you know sasha is always saktia and he doesn't have two names and so I thought that was great and then somebody else pointed out that well Madonna only has one name - okay let's have the one in the back is trying with the blue scarf no I had a question so again thank you for all the discussion I also think that the previous question leads to what I'm going to ask so I do think that when we make others uncomfortable then we're going in the right direction and when that is not happening I think that we're not doing enough but I think that there's a certain line between making someone uncomfortable or making people uncomfortable for the right reasons and being invasive so when we say that we have to make changes in culture like where do we draw the between making others see new perspectives or being invasive in their culture so I don't know that I have a
great answer but I'm gonna use that to tell a story because it actually recognizes one of our laureates who's not here today so I had the good fortune of having Michael Rabin as a colleague when I was a young faculty member and I was the first I was the first faculty member in my entire school to ever give birth while a faculty member I believe so um I decided that I was gonna come in for a faculty lunch one day with the baby the baby was about a month old because I was coming back the next semester to work and so it's like the oh my god does the breast feed or not to breastfeed what am I gonna do and I thought I'll feed the baby before lunch and then it won't be a problem so we show up to lunch and it's like all the safes people the one woman faculty member and my junior colleagues and then like Michael Rabin walks in and of course 30 seconds later my son is starving and I'm sitting there like you know do I wrap the blanket around my head do I leave the room and I thought you know if I'm bringing the baby to work I better just get used to us both I ate my lunch my son ate his lunch and I didn't say anything and afterward Michael came up to me and I thought oh my god here it goes and this is my implicit bias kicking in right here is a incredibly wonderful famous you know esteemed colleague and he's about to give me grief for green you know and I was in a really negative space and Michael said to me he said so what are you doing next semester I thought oh here it goes you know well I'm coming back and I'm bringing the baby and I will never forget Michael clapped his hands smiled with delight and said oh that's wonderful we'll have you back and he'll have you - that happened twenty-one years ago I remember like it was yesterday so there were colleagues that I made feel uncomfortable by bringing my baby to work but I also had colleagues who we know that it was okay and it was the most natural thing in the world so I think when we talk about changing culture it's getting the temperature of you know the trusted colleagues who you believe our allies and they will help you figure out if you're pushing it hard you know if you're pushing too hard and so I think the fact that you're cognizant of that and thinking about it means that you are unlikely to push too hard and yes there will be some people who are uncomfortable but as long as there are others who get it then I think you can be assured that you're not pushing too hard seems now they change the timing so sorry for the question you never got to ask but people will be here for lunch and we can continue the discussion there will be panels after lunch with career things so I think we you should just come back and continue to ask the questions I can ask you very briefly if anybody wanted to say something before we quit Oh No okay anybody else wants to say something maybe just maybe just a quick comment yeah is it is it done yeah so it's been a lot of discussion about hiring women but I think it's also important to pay a bit more attention to the education and how we advertise education for science education for young girls I know an example in Sweden for example they have to rename their faculty and programs from like building roads to build in society to include a bit more female applicants to their programs so I guess paying a lot more into education and more attention to education and how we are brain young generation this would help in future too to do the gender balance thank you okay
thank you all thanks to the audience [Applause]
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