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October 2020 - Webinar ‘Closing the gap – gender diversity in academia and industry’

October 2020 - Webinar ‘Closing the gap – gender diversity in academia and industry’

Last Friday, EAGE/GAIA Women in Geoscience & Engineering Netherlands presented a webinar on gender diversity in academia and industry. The two speakers, Dr. Ir. Femke Vossepoel and Prof. Dr. Marion Matters-Kammerer, have been in both industry and academia during their careers. Femke first gave her talk 'Cycling with a headwind' about the unconscious bias that women face. She complemented her explanation by having us do a 'selective attention test', showing us that it is indeed easy to miss out on signals when your focus is elsewhere. Also, she explained how women can create a tailwind for themselves by asking for/arranging a mentor or sponsor, by talking to others about their experiences and by speaking up. After a short discussion, Marion gave her talk 'Work hard and dream big, mama' about her personal experiences. She talked about the interplay between a professional career and a family life, the role of framing and self-framing and the effect of role models: who qualifies? Why are they important and what to do when you cannot find them? Also, she revealed one of her secrets to having a combination of a successful career and a family life: hiring a nanny at home. In the following discussion, she explained that women do not have to be afraid to be hired just because of their gender and that it is important to check on salaries at a university/company to ensure that you get what you deserve. In addition, you can be a role model for your daughter(s) by showing that it is possible to be a good mom and have a career. To conclude, it was an evening of openness, discussion and inspiration. Thank you Femke and Marion!

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