IAEA promotes women's opportunities at global conference

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report on Thursday detailing the Women in Nuclear (WiN) Global Annual Conference taking place this week at IAEA headquarters in Geneva.

The organization aims to increase the presence of women in the nuclear industry globally across its scientific and policy-making applications. WiN has chapters internationally including branches that opened in the Middle East and Africa and one based at the IAEA.

“Despite radioactivity being discovered by a woman, nuclear science is dominated by men,” Margaret Mkhosi, president of WiN South Africa and senior specialist in nuclear engineering at the country’s National Nuclear Regulator, said. “For Africa to progress, there is a need for greater awareness of women’s central role in contributing towards the development of each country.”

In a message, Director General Yukiya Amano said it is an important goal to have equal representation of women within the nuclear industry, especially within senior positions. The IAEA reports that gender equality statistics within the nuclear sciences is slowly rising, as reflected in an increased number of applications from women. However, the IAEA reports there is still work to be done.

IAEA Deputy Director General and first female head of the Department of Management Janice Lee discussed the importance of networking opportunities.

“Networks are an extremely effective way of reaching a diverse pool of qualified candidates, many of whom might never have considered working in the nuclear field,” Lee said. “Probably very few women with a humanities background like mine would think of making a career in the nuclear field. Maybe not too many with a science background would, either. And this is something that I — and I hope many others here today — would like to change.”

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International Atomic Energy Agency

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