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International Women's Day: Hundreds of Upcoming Women Scientists Call for More Inclusivity in STEM

To mark International Women's Day 2024, over 400 fellows from the IAEA's Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship and the Lise Meitner Programmes came together in Vienna, to voice their shared vision for a more inclusive future in nuclear science and technology, as part of a two-day training and networking event. Read their full statement below.

We, the participants of the IAEA Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship and the Lise Meitner Programmes, are nuclear professionals from all around the world. We believe that women are instrumental in shaping the future of nuclear science and technology for peaceful purposes. In the wake of our glorious predecessors, Marie Skłodowska-Curie and Lise Meitner, we believe in our capabilities to bring a fresh perspective to the field and to drive innovation in this domain that is key to the most important challenges of our time such as energy and food security, climate change, reaching a better quality of life and healthcare.

Grateful for the support and opportunities granted to us by the IAEA, we are building a community of strong, talented and committed women aiming at improving and inspiring the world.

The IAEA plays a pivotal role in fostering gender equality in STEM, and in particular the nuclear field. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship and the Lise Meitner Programmes have helped about 600 women from over 120 countries to pursue their dream careers, as scientists, engineers or other nuclear professionals, by providing them with the opportunity to obtain master’s degrees, internships, training and networking to start and develop their careers. These initiatives encourage women to pursue their studies and careers, progress in the field and take on leadership roles, advocating for equal opportunities, breaking down stereotypes and biases.

We believe it is crucial to champion and empower women in nuclear science and technology. We are convinced that encouraging women to study science and technology is one of the main drivers for progress in societies, everywhere in the world. Women constitute a global talent pool to meet the technological challenges of today, to drive economic growth and diffuse knowledge. Closing the gender gap and breaking stereotypes in STEM not only promotes fairness and equality but also maximises human potential to tackle global challenges. The world is in need of more women role models to inspire future generations of girls to rise up to the role they are expected to play in the future.

The nuclear field needs to become more accessible to women. We are advocating for a better and more inclusive work environment, promoting fairness and equality. We believe that women’s participation will contribute significantly to the safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology for a better and more sustainable future for our generations to come.

Therefore, we must encourage women from all over the world to pursue careers in nuclear science and technology.

We, participants of the IAEA Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship and the Lise Meitner Programmes, pledge to support, advocate, promote and practice policies that empower women, ensure gender equality, and enable women to reach their full potential in the nuclear field.

We want women to feel appreciated and empowered in their intellectual and professional ambitions.

We stand for a more inclusive workplace in STEM.

We stand for more women from developing countries to join the nuclear field, leading to more diverse nuclear workforce across different countries, cultures and societies.

We stand for peaceful, safe and secure nuclear technologies, instrumental to fight climate change while ensuring energy security and sustainable development. This includes active participation of more women in policy making.

We recognize the unique value of the IAEA MSCFP and LMP and we appeal to donors and partners to continue supporting these programmes.

We are committed to the IAEA gender equality actions for more women in nuclear.

Gender should never determine ambitions, dreams and goals. We hope girls and women around the world will keep on breaking the barriers, taking up high impact responsibilities, discovering and creating, while empowering each other. We are committed to supporting them and each other on this journey.

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