On this special day for women, I would like to share wise words given by Professor Wartiovaara. I had a lucky lunch moment with her one day when we were planning the 3rd year anniversary for WILS. After we chatted about women in science and the need for mentoring and support, she sent me this kind and supportive mail in the evening on the same day. I was touched by the kindness and immediate reaction from her. Especially because I can see those words are truly coming from her experiences and I see daily how she is actively working on what she describes.
I shared her message on the last moment of our 3rd year anniversary seminar day, and I was positively surprised by a lots of requests from the audience to share it on the blog, so that they can keep for the future moments. Professor Wartiovaara kindly gave a permission to share her message.
My “ASW principles”, the take home messages for these female colleagues were:
Women can do a lot for each other
Mentor junior colleagues – give also positive feedback, be available, support in background
Act for equality in a kind and constructive way – be strict when needed, but don’t let yourself to be agitated
Network, unite, take a chance when it is offered, don’t think ahead or consider too much if there is an interesting suggestion made for you.
Speak in workshops. Ask questions. Allow own opinions to be expressed. Don’t let yourself be interrupted when speaking.
Administrative tasks. Learn to say no.
Be less perfectionist in one area of life
Go to work outside Finland, take an au pair or similar
Get or hire help – home and office.
Pay attention to hidden inequality and actively act against it.
Cite women scientists’ work.
Shake everyone’s hands in a meeting. Shake hands when they leave.
Learn your women colleague’s family names and use them. Women are too often remembered by their first name – or not even with that one. “The blond woman who gave the talk yesterday”.
Recognise your own prejudice: do you equally appreciate and cite the work of female and male scientists?
Aim to treat people equally – not considering their status in society, their gender, race etc.
Let’s keep these in mind and support each other!
Happy international women’s day!!
Fumi Suomi Ph.D.