Kumpula Women – what we did in 2017

We are an informal network of women scientists, researchers, students and staff working at Kumpula Campus. Through our activities, we aim to give visibility to women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), share our perspectives and help networking. We welcome to our community both women and men, both junior and senior.

In 2017, our mailing list (currently with 70 members and heartily welcoming new ones) has proved to be the most important channel of information. Through the mailing list and via our website, we share information about interesting events, research, thoughts, policies, and whatever we think might interest us. We recently overhauled the look of our webpages, including a new logo. In addition, we established a Facebook group, “Kumpula Women in Science”.

We continued our monthly lunches at Dynamicum the first Monday of each month. Typically, a dozen ladies, sometimes also gentlemen, join in to enjoy the lunch. Although the discussions are cheerful and the atmosphere is spontaneous, the topics are often serious, including career opportunities in the shadow of “gender scissors”, challenges in combining work and family, and sexual harassment at work.

On March 8th 2017, together with Kumpula communication officers, we organized a popular science seminar “Deep within the Earth and Skies so High – KumpulaNOW talks on International Womens’ Day”, an event celebrating the first 100 years of Finnish women in science. Speakers included Vice-dean Esko Ukkonen, specialist in Finnish-women-in-science Eva Isaksson, space scientists Emilia Kilpua and earth scientist Emilia Koivisto, as well as director Marjukka Virkki from ABB.

At the end of the year, we had our traditional potluck Christmas coffee. Professor of cosmology and active conversationalist in society Kari Enqvist introduced a male perspective on women-in-science. He brought to our discussion the interesting viewpoint that due to reserve and courtesy, male professors might treat their female colleagues and students more formally than they treat the male ones. Thus, since professors in science are still mostly men, women scientists might feel that they are not so warmly welcomed and firmly included in the scientific community as their male colleagues – which in turn might affect their career choices.

We have established several new contacts outside Kumpula campus. We met with Women of Biotechnology from Viikki Campus and started to plan common activities. In addition, we supported a science-and-art project by the Honkasalo-Niemi-Virtanen collective,  which is working in the fields of music, theatre, sculpture and time-based arts.

During this New Year, please keep on sharing your thoughts, ideas and news through our network! Together we can make our campus an excellent place to work and study for everyone, both women and men.

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