Gender issues

Participants in PHOTONICS4LIFE are committed to promote equality of opportunity in all stages of P4L activities. Therefore, rules for equal treatment of men and women in all stages of P4L have been established, ranging from recruitment to training.

Rules for equal treatment

Recruiting policy

Equal opportunity of recruitment is a vital ingredient of equal promotion of men and women in P4L. Statements to this effect are included in all advertisements for positions. In advertisements, where local and national regulations allow, we shall include an additional statement to the effect “recognising that women are underrepresented in this scientific field, we welcome applications from women”. As far as possible, women will be equally represented on interview panels for these positions.

Training and mobility

In order to promote women in P4L, the following action plan will be developed through our training and mobility program: we will actively encourage recruitment of women candidates. Moreover, besides the mobility program and professional training for young researchers, P4L will support training women for project management and leading research positions. In all major training programs set up by P4L, a significant number of the women will be invited to attend. These programs aim to educate the participants on the knowledge in Biophotonics, and to develop skills in conducting research, project management, and other leadership skills.

Informal Mentoring

Members of P4L, particularly senior female partners, will be asked to devote
part of their time at a national level to explain to high school and early undergraduate
female students how careers in the life sciences can be an attractive
option for them. P4L meetings will integrate the possibility for informal
mentoring from senior to junior female P4L members.

Work-Life Balance

Finally, measures to obtain equal balance in work organization and personal
life will be taken, where necessary. Most of the project partners have their
own specific programs, such as flexible or reduced working hours, part-time
contracts, and supporting facilities (such as day care for children or kindergarten),
women networking, equal opportunity monitoring, continuous education
of women, etc. These will be particularly helpful for women to join
the partners in this project. To support the partners in implementing such
programs and facilities, individual experiences with such issues will be exchanged
within the consortium. UoM has recently established a complete
service unit for family issues. This unit can act as an example and can support
other participants to initiate similar measures.

Current status of women in Photonics4Life

Actually, participation of women in P4L status groups is the following:
- women in Execom 20%
- women WP leader: 15%
Therefore, P4L fosters the participation of female scientists in all activities of P4L. Actually, the percentage of women at the 1st P4L biophotonics summer school in conjuction with the 4th Biophotonics summer school in Ven, Sweden, was 40%.
Issues of women in P4L as well as in the general field of biophotonics will be continuously monitored and evaluated.

Contact person(s):

Denz Cornelia

Cornelia Denz

Mail:denz [at] uni-muenster [dot] de

Involved partners:

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