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Connecting Women in Science and Engineering through Sharing Personal Stories (Julita Vassileva)
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Connecting Women in Science and Engineering through Sharing Personal Stories (Julita Vassileva)

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Women&Technologies: Research and Innovation. Nell'ambito del prestigioso WCC, (World Computer Congress), una conferenza nella conferenza dedicata alle donne e alle tecnologie, con un particolare......

Women&Technologies: Research and Innovation. Nell'ambito del prestigioso WCC, (World Computer Congress), una conferenza nella conferenza dedicata alle donne e alle tecnologie, con un particolare focus su ricerca e innovazione. Presentazione per l'intervento a distanza di Julita Vassileva (University of Saskatchewan, Canada), intitolato "Connecting Women in Science and Engineering through Sharing Personal Stories".

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  • 1. Connecting Women in Science and Engineering through Sharing Personal Stories Julita Vassileva University of Saskatchewan, Canada
  • 2. Figures: CAUT Almanac 2007 ~58% ~49.6% 32.6% ~39% ~35% ~14% Women in sci. & eng. vs. women in all fields
  • 3. Vertical cross-section Women faculty in sci. & eng. vs. Women faculty in all fields
  • 4. SHE Figures, 2006 7.72 13.8 19.4 38 31
  • 5. 7.72
  • 6. Vertical effect
    • Similar to Canada, the proportion of women in Sci. & Eng. in higher ranks in Europe decreases.
    • Reasons?
      • - In Europe historically, the numbers have been higher, so the time-shift
      • explanation doesn’t work here.
  • 7. Other reasons
    • Fewer resources at higher-levels
    • More politics and games in the higher spheres, women don’t want to get involved
    • Lesser support and networks
    • Lack of mentors at higher levels
    • Lesser access to information
    • Different communication style, lesser assertiveness, lower confidence
    • Other priorities: family, spouse, kids, elderly parents…
  • 8. These problems are the same everywhere
    • Sharing and discussing them can help
      • - How to handle conflict?
      • - How to behave in competitive situations (zero-sum game)?
      • - How to bounce after failure?
      • - How to successfully communicate?
    • Networking is important
      • - Women have superior communication skills
    • But how?
      • - There are so few women in Sci. & Eng.
      • Go virtual!
  • 9. Virtual ways of connecting women
    • Information sites
    • Role-model sites
    • Mailing lists
    • Email mentoring
    • Discussion forums
    • Blogs
    • Social networking
    Web 1.0 Web 2.0
  • 10. Information Websites
    • Posting information about scholarships, events, jobs, training materials, advice, FAQ, bios, success stories and career information
    • Often have educational purpose
    • Alberta Women in Science Network (AWSN) – www.awsn.com
    • Women in Chemistry – www.chemheritage.org/women_chemistry/
    • Canadian Coalition for Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technologies (CCWESTT) – www.ccwestt.org
    • International Network for Women in Engineering and Science ( www.INWES.org )
    • Canadian Federation of University Women
    • www.wiredwoman.com – Vancouver & Toronto
    • National Center for Women in IT ( www.ncwit.org )
    • Institute for Women in Trades, Technology & Science ( www.womentechworld.org )
  • 11. For example, the “Women in Chemistry” website
  • 12. Role-models
    • AWSN, WISEST
    • Native Access to Engineering ( http://www.nativeaccess.com )
    • Inventive Women ( http://www.inventivewomen.com )
    • Role Model Project for Girls ( http://womenswork.org/girls/ )
      • Post biographies of successful women. Sometimes – video interviews where role models talk about their life and career.
  • 13. Mailing Lists
    • Systers http://www.systers.org/ Systers is the world’s largest e-mail community of technical women in computing, and celebrates its 21st anniversary this year. Founded by Anita Borg in 1987 as a small electronic mailing list for women in “systems,” Systers broadly promotes the interests of women in the computing and technology fields. The membership includes over 2500 professional women in computer science from 25 countries. The group is closely affiliated with the Anita Borg Institute which describes itself as a “global resource for industry, academia, and government to help them identify, attract, develop and retain women leaders in technology.” The organization also has an associated mentoring program.
  • 14. Mailing Lists
    • Daphnet http://www.wes.org.uk/daphnet.html Daphnet is a well established electronic mailing list for and about women in SET. The group currently has about 300 members from a variety of fields and backgrounds. All fields of SET and all ages are welcome to join. Members will find contributions from individuals at various stages in the careers and stages in their careers. Although based in the UK, women (and men) from around the world are welcome to join.
  • 15. Mentoring
    • Mentor net http://www.mentornet.org
    • MentorNet is the award-winning nonprofit e-mentoring network that positively affects the retention and success of those in engineering, science and mathematics, particularly but not exclusively women and others underrepresented in these fields. Founded in 1997, MentorNet provides highly motivated protégés from many of the world's top colleges and universities with positive, one-on-one, email-based mentoring relationships with mentors from industry, government, and higher education. In addition, the MentorNet Community provides opportunities to connect with others from around the world who are interested in diversifying engineering and science.
  • 16.
    • SCIberMentor http://www.scibermentor.ca/
    • is an email mentorship program that matches women in science and engineering with girls between the ages of 11 and 18.
    • Mentoring is a one-to-one relationship between a more experienced mentor and a less experienced mentee, based on encouragement, constructive comments, openness, mutual trust, respect, and a willingness to learn and share.
    • Email mentoring is effective, efficient and economical! Research shows that girls are active users of computers and of email in particular. Email allows for easy interaction and reduces the awkwardness of age differences.
    • Currently 400 mentor-mentee matches are active in Alberta.
    • Participants live in major urban centres, small towns and rural areas.
  • 17. Discussion forums
  • 18. So far, Web 1.0
    • Like a newspaper , if not updated frequently  stale, mailing lists defunct, treated as spam
    • Requires materials, editing, maintenance, matchmaking (for mentorship)
    • Expensive
  • 19. Online communities
    • Participative web (2.0):
      • Europe: Finland, Norway, Iceland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Germany, Hungary and Poland…
        • 1/3 of the population of age 16-74 are engaged
        • 70% of population aged 16-24 have posted to chat, newsgroups, or forums
      • USA
        • 55% of all online American youths age 12-17 use social networking sites
        • MySpace has 100 mln.users, the most popular website.
        • The number of blogs has doubled every 6 months in the last 2 years, about 200 million blogs in 2006.
      • Asia
        • 25% of Japanese internet users over the age of 12 have experience in finding friends /acquaintances over the Internet; 20% with people they haven’t previously known
    • Girls and Women are over-proportionally active users of social networking sites and communication & socializing sites (discussion forums, social networking sites and blogs)
      • 55% of the bloggers in Asia are female.
    • Blogs increasingly used by recruiters to find good candidates for positions
    • What is a blog?
  • 20. Blogs
    • A site that allows you to easily post text, pictures, video or audio on the web, without any technical knowledge.
    • Given the low barriers to entry, there are now potentially as many authors as readers on the web. Yet many more blogs are begun than are sustained over a period of months and years.
    • Webloggers, like diarists of old, write for themselves. Then, if their thoughts, insights and links to sources prove useful to others, then this should be seen as a bonus.
    • The better bloggers have a purpose that sustains them over a longer period, and the better blogs gain recommendation by being discovered and linked to as sources. These links provide a form of peer assessment
    From “Social History of Blogs”, by Richard Bailey, posted on his blog http://prstudies.typepad.com/weblog/2003/10/social_history_.html
  • 21.  
  • 22.  
  • 23. Social Networking Sites
    • Users create profiles, groups, events…
    • They can search for other users by
      • name,
      • position,
      • company / industry,
      • location,
      • interests etc.
  • 24.  
  • 25. Idea?
    • A web 2.0 community for women in sci & eng to share to share personal stories
    • Would allow:
      • Like Blogs: self-expression, venting out, sharing stories, like a diary of professional life
      • Intimate knowledge of role-models, with their problems, failures and bounces, rather than the standard CV type of profile
      • Finding other likeminded women, closer by interests, psyche, interests, profession, location
      • Commending, discussing issues, sharing advice and opinions
      • Non-native English speaker participants interacting and honing their language English skills
  • 26. WiseTales: http://wisetales.usask.ca
  • 27. Questions
    • Participation is a precious commodity
      • Would busy academic women spend the time to write & post a story?
      • What would be an effective incentive:
        • Reciprocating / building relationships?
        • Glory? E.g. building reputation in the community?
        • Power? E.g. to emphasize own viewpoints
        • Rewards? E.g a free registration to a women in science & engineering conference?
      • Would women trust the community to share their experience?
        • To ensure Privacy  anonymity
        • But Anonymity  no community…
      • Would you participate??
  • 28.
    • The WiseTales Community:
    • http://wisetales.usask.ca
    • More information for the Prairie Chair projects:
    • http://wise.usask.ca
    • She-figures 2006:
    • http://www.kif.nbi.dk/She_Figures_2006.pdf
    • CAUT Almanac 2007:
    • http://www.caut.ca/pages.asp?page=442