Members of the Women in Science (WIS) UK-Brazil Gender Equality Partnerships programme met to discuss challenges, opportunities, and perspectives.
The partnership is funded by the British Council and led by Professor Camille Petit, Professor of Materials Engineering, from the Department of Chemical Engineering. Staff from Imperial are working with colleagues at the Federal University of Ceara (UFC) and the University of Campinas (Unicamp) to develop ways to increase participation in STEM and improve career paths for women scientists.
Members of the Women in Science partnership met in London for a two-day workshop to discuss the opportunities and challenges for Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) initiatives in Brazilian institutions. Imperial colleagues shared examples of best practice from across the College as well as lessons learned from our EDI work and current barriers.
Project lead Professor Camille Petit said: “It was interesting to learn about the similarities and differences between Brazil and UK institutions in terms of barriers to EDI and how both data and lived experiences matter to provide a full picture of the current situation.”
For the two-day workshop, delegates from the Federal University of Ceara (UFC) and the University of Campinas (Unicamp) joined colleagues from Imperial for sessions on best practice in recruitment, the EDI journey at Imperial, the College’s reverse mentoring scheme, and discussions on race, gender, student scholarships, and staff and student networks. These discussions included what could be done at an individual level, as well as collectively as a department or university.
The workshop drew in contributions from students, professional staff, and academic staff across Imperial’s different faculties as well as central College teams. The discussions from the workshop will help support the Brazilian delegates to shape the EDI efforts at their own universities, as well as feed into conversations about establishing in Brazil a framework similar to the Athena Swan Charter.
Rob Bell, the College Athena Swan Coordinator, has been the EDI lead for the partnership, and said: “It was fantastic to have the core project team meet together in person as we explored EDI topics. I’m incredibly grateful to colleagues who agreed to come and speak about the great work they are supporting at Imperial. Our Brazilian colleagues came away with lots of interesting ideas to take back to their universities.”
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