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IAEA Women Leaders Share Their Journeys on International Women’s Day 2021: Panel Discussion


The importance of diversity in leadership and its organizational benefits are some of the topics to be discussed at an IAEA online panel on 8 March to mark International Women’s Day. In line with this year’s theme of women in leadership, the panel beginning at 15:00 Vienna time will celebrate the first women to lead key scientific areas of the IAEA’s work. Registration is open to the public.

“We can learn much from early pioneer scientists, diplomats and other women leaders,” said IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, who will participate in the panel discussion. “They can show us not only how far we have come, but also point out what we still have to do. Their legacy serves as an inspiration for the women who follow in their footsteps and for the rest of us who are working towards a more equitable workplace and world.”

Although women have been leaders in science, and at the IAEA, for decades, women are still underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) globally. UNESCO reports that women still account for less than 30 per cent of the world’s scientists and researchers.

Panellists in the discussion will include Najat Mokhtar, the current and first woman Deputy Director General of the IAEA Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications; Elena Buglova, the current Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Security and the first woman Head of the IAEA Incident and Emergency Centre; Meera Venkatesh, the first woman Director of the IAEA Division of Physical and Chemical Sciences, and Gabriele Voigt, the first woman Director of the IAEA Office of Safeguards Analytical Services and former president of Women in Nuclear global.

They will share their motivation to work in science and provide insights into their personal path to the IAEA. The panellists will also discuss organizational policies and practices that have facilitated their professional success and offer career advice for future generations of leaders. The panel discussion will be followed by a question and answer session open to viewer participation. 

IAEA and gender equality

The IAEA is committed to gender equality. To this end, it carries out initiatives for gender balance among its professional staff and senior management, and it is mainstreaming gender considerations into its programmatic work. International Women’s Day is one of the occasions on which the IAEA promotes gender equality and inspires women to build careers in nuclear science and technologies, including by joining the IAEA. Last year, the Agency launched the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme to support women working towards their Master’s degrees in nuclear science and technology, nuclear safety and security or non-proliferation. The IAEA has also committed to achieving gender parity within the Agency – 50 per cent women and 50 per cent men – at all levels by 2025.

For more information about the Agency or to apply for vacancies, click here.

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