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Cambridge AWiSE 20th anniversary – Inspire, Inform, Challenge

We’ve been working away behind the scenes analysing the survey responses and focus group discussions in preparation for our Anniversary Meeting on 2nd October [register here by 18th Sept] and there are some interesting themes developing. We’ve been asking women in science, engineering and technology what initiatives have helped them in their careers and what the barriers are to keeping them there.

There are some quite frank responses – it would be wonderful if industry and academia bosses could have been a fly on the wall in some of these discussions but we’re doing the next best thing by summarising the key points and highlighting the initiatives that can really help women stay in science and engineering careers

One important area is that of flexible working. Since the legislation has been introduced flexible working is becoming more widespread but there is still massive variation between employers. It is clear that some women are fortunate enough to be able to take it for granted but others look at them enviously.

Other themes coming through in the analysis of survey responses are confidence, mentoring and career breaks. We will be sharing the results of our work in the meeting on 2nd October along with presentations by a fascinating array of speakers:

Prof Jeremy Sanders, Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Cambridge
Dr Anne-Marie Coriat, Chair, RCUK Research Group, Research Councils UK.
Prof Lesley Yellowlees, Royal Society of Chemistry
Dr Gillian Arnold, British Computer Society
Dr Jasmin Fisher, Microsoft Cambridge.
Dr Jan Peters, Past President of the Women’s Engineering Society and one of the authors of the influential SETFair report of 2002 looks back at its impact. What have we gained and what have we lost in the last 10 years?

Our speakers will be joined in a panel discussion by Dr Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge and Dr Nancy Lane, Founder Director of WiSETI and Past President of the Institute of Biology.

We are very pleased that Lord Sainsbury of Turville, Chancellor of the University of Cambridge will be officially opening proceedings. He is a long-time supporter of AWiSE and we can embarrass him with some lovely old photos!

There will be a hot buffet supper and networking from 5.30-6.30pm before the meeting starts officially at 6.30pm and, of course, there will be cake to help fuel the discussion!

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