Gender imbalance in science is a long-standing issue that has moved into the spotlight in recent years in the European Union (EU) (www.yellowwindow.be/genderinresearch) and the EU is taking a proactive approach towards female representation by introducing quotas for committees. Importantly, statistics from our large European and International immunology meetings also demonstrate a very low proportion of women among symposia and keynote speakers. (1-3).
There is an urgent need to increase the visibility of female immunologists. To facilitate nominations of women as speakers, chairs, and committee members in immunology-related meetings and as experts in decision-making bodies, we propose to compile a comprehensive and easily accessible database of female investigators in Europe with expertise in immunology.
We ask all our member societies to encourage their female members to register and create a profile in our "Women in Immunology" database. Experts will be classified according to sub-discipline and experience, in order to promote young investigators as well as more senior scientists in relevant organizations.
The database aims to help scientists, universities, research institutions, political institutions, conference organizers and journal editors to identify appropriately qualified female immunologists:
- as candidates for professorships and other positions
- to speak at conferences and in seminar programmes
- to participate in advisory groups, on monitoring panels, committees and commissions
- to review manuscripts, to write commissioned reviews and to serve on the editorial boards of journals.
One can search for keywords, cities, institutions, etc., and filter records by research area, position, or country. Please note that "position" refers to the general career stage of the expert, in order to avoid confusion over employment titles across European nations.
1. Deniz G., Chapel H., Barlan I. , de Vries E., Jaraquemada D. Women advancing science, Eur. J. Immunol, 2010, 37, 589-593
2. Science and Gender, Nature Immunology, 2009, 11, 99
3. Newkirk, M.N., Richie E. and Lunney J.K., Advancing women scientists: the immunology experience, Nature immunology, 2005, 6, 855