Galvanising the IFS Women in Science Community

Published: 2021-12-02

On the 26 November, 2021, IFS brought together 20 women from 14 different countries in Africa and Asia in the IFS Women in Science workshop for 2021 grantees. It was a highly interactive online workshop where participants had an opportunity to connect with each other and share ideas on how to activate the IFS Women in Science Community.

The IFS Women in Science Community started as an online group that was launched under the new IFS 10 year strategy in 2020. The group has grown to include new women grantees who received a grant in 2021.

The aim of the workshop was to bring together the new grantees and brainstorm some ideas for grass-roots initiatives that could be taken forward by the grantees themselves. Workshop participants shared their thoughts on what community meant to them. A thread that ran through their answers was that a community was a group of people from diverse backgrounds that were united by a common goal.

Inspired participants engaged with each other in small groups to brainstorm ideas on how they could bring the IFS Women in Science Community to life through initiatives, what actions were needed to take these ideas forward, and whether there was a volunteer to take it forward. Many of the initiatives tapped into the collective knowledge of the community, allowing members to share their skills and benefit from each other. Ideas for initiatives included the creation of online support groups that meet to discuss different challenges experienced by women in research, skill-sharing online meetings, English conversation groups, using the online community feed to share opportunities, mentoring girls in schools, and online meetings to present and share the progress of their IFS project.

The workshop ended with a stronger sense of community and a clear path forward for the IFS Women in Science Community. We are excited to find out where this path will lead.

Participant testimonials

“This IFS Women in Science Workshop has been very inspiring and I’m really feeling delighted to have been able to be a part of this and try to continue with the wave approach on my society with these positive brainstorming ideas for strengthening the women in science. Love all the efforts done by IFS for making women strong especially in the Science field. Love from Pakistani women. Look forward to the next one”. 

Dr Saima Qadeer.

Dr Saima Qadeer
Assistant Professor & Coordinator, Department of Zoology, University of Education, Pakistan

"The IFS Women in Science Workshop offered me a unique opportunity for collaboration on interdisciplinary topics amongst fellow women whom we share similar challenges in the science and research space".

Juliet Karisa

Dr Juliet Furaha Karisa
Research Scientist (Coral reef ecologist and conservationist), Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, Kenya



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