Celebrating women and girls in science

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Marking International Day of Women and Girls in Science

University of Sydney scientists are today hosting a conversation in Westmead on the achievements and challenges facing women in science.

This morning's event at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research marks The International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

It will feature leading and emerging biomedical scientists, who will discuss the challenges and achievements of women in science while highlighting the need for an end to gender bias.

Speaker will share their perspectives on career paths in science, examples of bias and how to overcome it, the future of the scientific workforce, and why women make great scientists.

They will also reflect on some of the inspiring scientific achievements by women working in science in Westmead's health precinct.

My sister and I grew up in a household where it was just natural to talk about science. Our parents strongly encouraged us and supported us to follow our interests.

Professor Louise Baur, University of Sydney

Professor Louise Baur, Associate Dean and Head, The Children's Hospital at Westmead Clinical School, said she’s always been a “science nerd” and was encouraged to pursue a career in science by her parents.

“My sister and I grew up in a household where it was just natural to talk about science. Our parents strongly encouraged us and supported us to follow our interests.

I know that for many girls at our local girls high school this was definitely not the case in the 1970s. There were a range of social barriers that stopped girls from choosing science as a career but I ended up studying medicine and my sister, veterinary science,” said Professor Baur.

Professor Clara Chow, Westmead Academic Co-director, University of Sydney, said women have many strengths suited to a career in science.

“In addition to an enquiring mind—patience and attention to detail are important attributes in scientists, and for many women these are strengths,” said Professor Chow.

Given past discrimination of women in science and the still prevailing gender stereotypes, we need to do everything to nurture female academics.

Professor Heiko Spallek, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Sydney

Professor Heiko Spallek, Acting Dean, Faculty of Dentistry said there needs to be continued efforts to support and promote female academics.

“Given past discrimination of women in science and the still prevailing gender stereotypes, we need to do everything to nurture female academics. We try to redress the gender gap at mid and senior level academics in dentistry by providing extra programs like the Sydney Women’s Mentoring Program and the Strategic Promotion Advice and Mentoring Program.

“I would like to see my daughters growing up in a society that recognises the achievements of individuals regardless of their gender, race or ethnic background,” said Professor Spallek.

Speakers

  • Professor Louise Baur - Associate Dean and Head, The Children's Hospital at Westmead Clinical School, University of Sydney; Professor of Child and Adolescent Health
  • Professor Tania Sorrell AM - Director, Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, University of Sydney; Director, Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, The Westmead Institute for Medical Research 
  • Professor Clara Chow - Charles Perkins Centre Westmead Academic Co-director, University of Sydney; Program Director, Community Based Cardiac Services and Cardiologist, Westmead Hospital 
  • Associate Professor Hilda Pickett - Associate Professor, Medicine, University of Sydney; Head of the Telomere Length Regulation Unit at Children’s Medical Research Institute 
  • Dr Tegan Cheng - Conjoint Associate Lecturer, Discipline of Child and Adolescent Health, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney
  • Professor Heiko Spallek - Professor and Pro-Dean of Faculty of Dentistry; Gender Diversity and Inclusion Champion for the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Sydney

Event details

What: International Day of Women and Girls in Science

When: Thursday 8 February 11.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.

Where: Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Level 2 Combined Conference Rooms, 176 Hawkesbury Rd, Westmead

Event contact: Michael Texilake: mobile 0402 328 406

Media enquiries: Dan Gaffney: mobile 048 100 4782

For the diary

On International Women’s Day (8 March 2018), the University of Sydney will host a panel event with five exceptional female academics. Register now.

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