Kumpula Campus Women in Science Network – what we did in 2019

For five years, Kumpula Campus Women in Science Network has acted as an informal network of scientists, researchers, students and staff at Kumpula Campus. We aim to promote Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), give visibility to women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and support networking.

Our most traditional and frequent activity is a monthly lunch at Dynamicum on the first Monday of each month. Typically around ten people, representing all genders, gather together to share thoughts, ideas and news in a pleasant company. We do not have any specific agenda for our lunch meetings but we always have a lot of inspiring, important and timely themes to discuss.

In 2019, members from our network participated in several activities to promote well-being and diversity at Kumpula Campus. For example, in the beginning of the year, David Weir, Eija Tuominen and Samuli Siltanen were nominated as a small task force to compile Kumpula Campus Code of Conduct, after which they all have participated in several staff meetings to promote the code.

In October, many of us participated in Athena Swan and Project Juno Information Event, towards equal opportunities in academia, supported by the British Embassy, and organized by David, Eija, Samuli, David Whipp and Hanna Vehkamäki. In November, we attended the Second Conference of Nordic Network for Diversity in Physics, where Eija, Hanna and Katja Lauri served as the local organizing committee.

In December, we had our traditional Christmas coffee party. Our alumna Paola Elefante, currently working at Plan International as Digital Scaling Project Manager, talked about how achieving gender equality is impeded by the fact that we live in a world designed for men: e.g.  medicine, technical devices and safety accessories are designed for the size of men, not women (transparencies here).

Many of us also participate in other groups to promote inclusion. For example, Diversity in Physics Finland, FinDiP, working group of the Finnish Physical Society FPS, aims to improve diversity in physics in general and opportunities for female physicists in particular. Helsinki Association of Women Researchers HELWOR aims to improve the position of women in the scientific community. In Kumpula we also have an active LGBTI+ staff and student group, which organized several social events such as boardgame evenings and a picnic in 2019. Many of us are also members in departmental well-being groups, such as those at Physics&HIP and INAR.

People of all genders, professions and career stages are warmly welcome to join us! Via our mailing list and our website, we share information about interesting events, articles, thoughts, policies, and whatever we think might interest us. Together we can make our campus into an even more equal, diverse and inclusive place for everyone to work, study and visit.

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