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IFA female researcher network

IFA female researcher network. We plan to meet the last Monday each month for lunch (12:00-12:45). Bring your own lunch. IFA will buy coffee and cake for dessert. March 25 is the first lunch.

The purpose is to create a healthy network of female researchers working at IFA in order to produce a nice environment to discuss all matters connected to females in academia and STEM. We will discuss several relevant aspects that influence our daily work, and we will build-up the right training and encouragement to deal with these issues. When relevant, we will share our ideas to IFA’s Gender Committee to allow them to have a more enriched vision about female issues at IFA. All female IFA permanent and non-permanent staff, from PhD level and onward, will be invited to attend the lunches.

Tentative program for the lunches:

  • February: Send out information about lunches, including link to Women in Science Day and conference March 8.
  • March: First lunch. Tests on unconscious bias. The idea is to repeat the same tests in November and to evaluate if our meetings along the year have had an impact in the way we deal with these issues.
  • April: We will watch short sketches/movies (10 min.) where unfavorable gender-related situations are presented. Each member will have to identify them individually, on a piece of paper. After this, we will discuss our discoveries. We will highlight in our discussion how naturalized these situations are, and we will try to understand why some issues where not detected and why some others were taken out of context.
  • May: To enrich our life experience, it is important to broaden our view about other people's experiences. In consequence, we will invite female researchers working outside IFA to have short debates about their own challenges, learning how do they deal with them. We will aim at young researchers from the departments of computer sciences, math, and biology.
  • June: The meeting will begin by watching a video on male-versus-female recruitment. The goal of this meeting will be to get ideas to politically change hiring committees, by for instance carrying out blind selection during the short listing process. We will collect ideas during the lunch discussion, and we will share these ideas with the gender committee.
  • July: Summer break. No activities.
  • August: How do we see us as females, focusing on life situations outside IFA (for example, how we criticize women for being fat or not using makeup). We will discuss them, placing special emphasis in how to react when we recognize them. We will make a round of "life experiences". Afterwards, we will extend this same discussion on to how do we see us as astronomers or physicists. Not only as females but also as researchers. At the end of the meeting, we will show a video about some research done on this topic.
  • September: Here we will identify improper or unfavorable situations at IFA connected to gender issues. The main goal of the meeting is to try to come up with practical ideas/solutions where we can, for example, back up each other or lift each other’s work in a very competitive environment.
  • October: We will brainstorm to come up with practical funded and non-funded ideas to change and improve our situation at IFA. We will share these ideas with IFA’s Gender Committee.
  • November: We will carry out the same tests done in March, and we will quickly compare and discuss the results. Any improvements will be recorded.
  • December: We will have our own Christmas lunch.