Today Sci-Sister, a new network for senior women working in STEM in Scotland is being launched.
The idea behind this "scientific sisterhood" is twofold:
- To combat potential isolation of women by helping them find links across discipline or job-type,
- To make the work of Scotland's female STEM experts more visible, and thus help counter some of the effects of unconscious bias.
The network is simply a map containing a pin for each member that includes their name, job, and keywords.
Those interested in joining can visit the website and explore the map to find the name, job title, and keywords of a nearby "sister" and expert. The Sci-Sister network is welcoming women who are STEM leaders in industry, government, and academia to apply using a form on the website.
Professor Polly Arnold, holder of the Crum Brown Chair at the University of Edinburgh and on the board of the Edinburgh International Science Festival which opened this weekend, has founded Sci-Sisters to bring together women working at a high level in science and engineering across academia, government and industry to combat isolation and create a network which while offering support also profiles the fantastic work of Scotland's women working in STEM.
"Women who do make it to senior positions in Scotland's science based professions can find themselves in a position where they are a lone woman in an area, and perhaps leading an all-male team, even with the best attempts of their institution to increase the diversity of its work force. However, because of Scotland's strong capabilities in STEM areas in general, there will undoubtedly be other women in similar roles in nearby companies or university departments.
"Through this new Sci-Sisters network I hope we can support each other in building a network that underpins deserved confidence among senior women and highlights excellence."