Encouraging greater diversity is not only the right thing to do: it allows scientific organizations to derive an “innovation dividend” that leads to smarter, more creative teams, hence opening the door to new discoveries.
Conference organizers should not feel that they have done their duty if they invite a top woman scientist who declines. The most successful women in science get inundated with invitations, but there will always be other successful women to choose from, and identifying them has been made easy. Anne’s List (created by computational neuroscientist Anne Churchland at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York) groups female neuroscientists easily into topic and seniority level. In Europe, AcademiaNet identifies women across scientific disciplines.
Inspired by my recent stint on a program organizing committee:
Many conferences and workshops provide forms to ask participants for feedback. It is important to participate in this process, and a great opportunity to provide input relating to issues such as speaker balance, childcare, and student/postdoc involvement.
Topics include childcare, speaker gender balance, and student/postdoc involvement. Make your opinions known!
Unless it is explicitly stated in your classroom, LGTBQ students will most often assume a classroom is at best silencing and at worst outright hostile to them. Therefore just ignoring it is an actual choice – a powerful and negative choice.