International Day of Women and Girls in Science: INRAE’s commitments
While less than 30% of researchers worldwide are women, INRAE boasts a rate of 48.65% of women among its ranks of scientists and is working hard to fight gender inequality and stereotypes. The Institute is also highly involved in several associations and networks to promote the careers of women in science and to prevent discrimination in general.
Published on 11 February 2022
INRAE strives to create working conditions that not only support the different needs of all its employees but also promote a healthy work-life balance. In this way, the Institute can help its employees carry out their work and have a fulfilling career without being limited by stereotypes.
As a public research organisation, INRAE has an active role to play through associations that promote science among different audiences and break down stereotypes.
INRAE: partner of the Women in Science Congress
The first Women in Science Congress will be held from 18 to 20 February 2022 in Paris. Organised by the AFNEUS association of university science students, with financial backing from INRAE and other organisations, the conference will include various activities designed to deconstruct gender stereotypes and biases of women in science.
Véronique Bellon-Maurel of INRAE will take part in the first of the scheduled round tables, ‘Bias and stereotypes: do they start at school?’ Véronique will discuss the DigiFilles operation launched by #DigitAg – the Digital Agriculture Convergence Lab (which she heads up) and by the Institute of Data Science (ISDM) at the University of Montpellier. The Digifilles operation gives girls aged 14 to 15 a chance to take part in job shadowing at five institutions of research and higher education (CIRAD, INRAE, Inria, University of Montpellier and Institut Agro).
Conferences will showcase the contributions and careers of women in science, including:
INRAE: member of the Femmes & Sciences association
In keeping with its commitment to support the hiring and promotion of women in science, INRAE joined the Femmes & Sciences association in 2020. INRAE’s aim is to promote the actions initiated by this association, such as the ‘Egalité Elles assure’ conference held in Montpellier in late 2021, with a talk by Catherine Beaumont, INRAE Delegate for Gender Equality and Anti-Discrimination, and to identify joint actions with a broad reach. In addition to this institutional commitment are the many laudable efforts made by individual women researchers that should be highlighted: for several years, INRAE researchers have taken active part on an individual basis in activities such as conferences and training activities.
The Femmes & Sciences association unites more than 350 individual members and 23 group members (associations, universities, institutions and Grandes écoles) that share the same desire to promote and showcase scientific and technical careers among girls and young women, and to promote and showcase women already working in science and technology.
INRAE: member of the AFMD
INRAE has been a member of the French Association of Diversity Managers (AFMD) since 2019 and a member of its board of directors since 2021. According to the AFMD’s website, ‘as a network, a forum, and a think tank, the AFMD brings more than 130 organisations together (companies, institutions, local authorities, associations, Grandes écoles, and universities). These organisations are committed to championing an inclusive and respectful work environment.’
Beyond issues of professional equality between women and men, the AFMD works with academic and institutional partners ‘on several themes related to the transformation of managerial functions and to the fight against discriminations in the workplace’.
The AFMD organises workshops and working groups for members to come together and reflect on shared topics and practical issues they deal with on a daily basis. These activities lead to a variety of publications, tools and kits that are widely disseminated and which aim to support the implementation of inclusive managerial practices in any sector (e.g., communicating about diversity, theories and practical applications of inclusion, etc.).
Being part of this network of private and public organisations strengthens INRAE’s ability to innovate and, as a member of the board of directors, allows the Institute to contribute to themes that are at the heart of current and future challenges.
INRAE co-leads a working group that brings together many different organisations and companies to address the theme of ‘Diversity and employer brand’. The working group will produce a deliverable in 2022 on considerations and analyses of what it means to create an ‘inclusive employer brand’. It will include examples of actions put in place within the working group’s different organisations.
INRAE: member of the Gender Equality in Public Scientific and Technical Establishments network
INRAE is an active member of the Gender Equality in Public Scientific and Technical Establishments network, which includes other scientific and technical institutions, namely CNRS, Inria, Inserm and IRD. This informal network provides a forum in which members can discuss advances within scientific and technical institutions regarding gender equality, identify ways to counter sexual and gender-based violence, and share useful information and tools.
While these activities are all very different, they are complementary and help strengthen and showcase the shared actions undertaken to promote gender equality.