Women in Research and Education Networking

..investing in women is not only the right thing to do. It is the smart thing to do." - Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General. While studies have shown that gender balanced teams can increase performance, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) field has ongoing difficulties attracting, developing and retaining women in the field. How do we perform as NRENs? We have women leading in many fields - Board level governance, CEOs, CFOs, CTOs, Operations Managers, Technical leaders .e.g GÉANT Activity Leaders. Multiple woman-of-the year shortlist nominees for achievements working in our field. What were the opportunities, breaks, hard work and developments that got us to where we are today? Can we perhaps do more to secure and enhance similar development opportunities for those who are entering our industry now? Can we make NRENs the best place to be for the 50% of the smartest minds who are women? And yes, ‘we’ includes men too! In short, as engineers, can we consciously engineer a level playing field that persists? I propose to see if there is interest in creating an open, (initially) informal network for Women in Research and Education Networking (WREN?) and to see what we can do to achieve this.

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