More Women in Nuclear Sciences

ICTP representatives took part in the celebrations of the International Women’s Day organized by the IAEA on 8 March
More Women in Nuclear Sciences
ICTP's stand at the IAEA event on 8 March
Giulia Foffano

Women constitute only a fifth of the nuclear workforce and ICTP’s UN partner, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is committed to inspire a new generation of women to choose the nuclear field and become leaders.

On 7 and 8 March 2024, the IAEA commemorated the International Women’s Day in Vienna, Austria, through an event that gathered over 400 fellows of IAEA’s flagship programmes, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSC) Fellowship and the Lise Meitner Programmes. The event stressed the IAEA’s aim to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce and to foster an environment that values and supports women's contributions, which will lead to growth and innovation in the nuclear industry.

ICTP was invited to share information about its programmes via a plenary session and at an exhibit. On 8 March, ICTP researcher Nadia Binggeli, who also leads ICTP's Training and Education unit, joined representatives of other IAEA partners at a plenary session entitled “From Vision to Action”. She presented ICTP and the opportunities offered to postgraduate students by its programmes and activities, several of which are organised jointly with the IAEA, namely the Master in Medical Physics and the Sandwich Training Education Programme. The partnership between ICTP and the IAEA for the placements of IAEA MSC Fellows for internships within a network of Italian laboratories was of particular interest to many of the young scientists who attended the event and are currently enrolled in the MSC programme.

At an exhibit space outside the main conference hall, various representatives of the IAEA’s main partners presented their activities, allowing participants to access relevant information about networking and career opportunities. The ICTP stall attracted many women researchers eager to learn more about the Centre and the opportunities it can offer to young nuclear scientists. “We were very happy to see an impressive number of interested participants approaching us and expressing their interest in ICTP,” Nadia Binggeli says.

ICTP Head Librarian Eva Babonich cordinated the ICTP exhibit, which included a selection of open access books that were made easily accessible to everyone through QR codes. “We chose titles having to do with women in science and were careful to choose open access books, which can be downloaded even outside the ICTP campus,“ Eva Babonich explains. “It was nice to see that so many people were eager to download the books we had selected,” she adds.  

“The event was a great occasion for ICTP to highlight what the Centre is doing, the long-term partnership with the IAEA, and what ICTP can offer through its programmes to both students and early career researchers,” Binggeli continues. “Events like this one are important platforms to help the career development of women in science, not only in order to retain but also to attract more women to STEM disciplines, by inspiring, connecting, and acting as reference points for supporting women in science,” she concludes.

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