Papers and blog posts
This blog outlines how visNET collected rich quantitative data on the professional networks of women early career researchers’ (ECRs) in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) fields to complement qualitative data on their networking and collaboration barriers with the aim of reducing the gender bias in academic STEM careers.
This comment is written in response to the recent article published in Nature Communications (17th November 2020) entitled, ‘The association between early career informal mentorship in academic collaborations and junior author performance’ by AlShebli et al. We believe that AlShebli et al’s (2020) results corroborate, at unique scale, the well-documented gender citation bias. We find that the interpretation of the data, that junior academic careers (both men and women) see greater career benefits when being mentored by senior men, is lacking theoretical foundation and not cognisant of the accepted knowledge on this topic. We are motivated in responding to this article by our concern that should this interpretation go unchallenged, we see a very high risk to the participation and progression of women in STEM academia.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine (STEMM) in Higher Education (HE) were beginning to tackle their lack of diversity. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the HE sector (including universities, publishers and funding bodies) enter a period of upheaval that risks reversing such progress. This article demonstrates how the unequal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the professional and personal lives of groups currently under-represented in academic STEMM is likely to widen and reproduce systemic inequalities already present within these fields.
Workshops, conferences and events
Pop-up Inclusion Matters - Thinking strategically about your professional networks to overcome gender barriers in academic careers (November, 2020)
This workshop was part of pop-up #InclusionMatters2020 and takes participants through the process of drawing and auditing their professional networks while drawing upon the findings of the visNET projects. You can find a recording of the workshop here.
Lower Saxony - Scotland Joint Forum – Early Stage Researchers: Networking to Accelerate Careers in the Covid Era Panel (November, 2020)
University of Glasgow PGR Townhall Meeting – ‘Thinking strategically about your networks as a PGR’ (November, 2019)
Vitae Conference – Poster on Gender barriers to networking (September, 2019)