29-30 May 2017
European Southern Observatory
Europe/Berlin timezone

'Girls Night Out' at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre

29 May 2017, 17:20
20m
Eridanus (European Southern Observatory)

Eridanus

European Southern Observatory

85748 Garching Germany

Speaker

Dr Ruth Grutzbauch (Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, University of Manchester)

Description

Women have long been under-represented among those who choose to study and work in the fields of physics and engineering. At Jodrell Bank we are keen to support women and girls who are interested in becoming involved with, or finding out about astrophysics and any area of physics and engineering. A significant number of the Discovery Centre staff are female, a high proportion have degrees in Physics and Engineering – and we know that there is still some way to go in removing sexism and gender bias across the sector. We set up our first Girls Night Out event in 2012, drawing on our own personal experiences of being women in Physics and Engineering in order to try to create something that we would have liked to attend ourselves – an event that we would find enjoyable, informative, inspiring and empowering. Key features of the event include an opening talk from a female scientist or engineer and activities for attendees related to the evening’s theme, wherever possible involving female researchers. Themes of past events have included engineering the Square Kilometre Array, solar physics and hunting for exoplanets with activities such as examining meteorites with female researchers in planetary science. Where possible we use events like the transit of Mercury or summer solstice to make a connection with current research. Feedback from these events tells us how they have been successful in making an impact. They have connected teenage girls with role models currently undertaking research to inspire them to pursue a career in science and have offered a point of engagement for older women who did not follow science as a career but have always harboured a passionate interest. Testimonials speak of ‘inspiration’, a ‘sense of belonging’ and finding ‘people like me’. During this presentation I will outline the successes and challenges we have faced in running this event and our plans for the future.

Primary author

Dr Ruth Grutzbauch (Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, University of Manchester)

Co-authors

Mr Jamie Sloan (Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, University of Manchester) Julia Riley (Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, University of Manchester) Ms Naomi Smith (Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, University of Manchester) Prof. Teresa Anderson (PI on this project, Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, University of Manchester) Prof. Tim O'Brien (CoI on this project, Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester)

Presentation Materials