The HBP has launched a High Potential Mentoring Programme for Early Career Stage Scientists and Managers of Science, developed by the Gender Advisory Committee.
[HBP Gender Equality Activities Coordinator Karin Grasenick talks with students at the HBP Student Conference in Ghent Belgium in February 2019]
“There is much that remains to be achieved in the HBP in terms of diversity and gender parity, but we are making progress. In the Human Brain Project we want to set ambitious goals, and with this programme, to send a clear signal that we will address the concerns of, and support the career aspirations of our female scientists and managers,” says HBP Director General Andreas Mortensen.
The HBP High Potential Mentoring Programme focuses on interdisciplinarity, a crucial factor in brain research and innovation.
The programme will support both women and men with the aim of improving the gender balance in all disciplines contributing to the success of the HBP. This includes both scientific work and science management activities, as both are essential elements in a large project like the HBP.
“Managers of the HBP Subprojects, who are in majority women, contribute significantly to the overall success of the project”, says Mortensen.
The programme design reflects feedback received during the career planning workshops held at the Student Conference in Ghent, Belgium last month. Held in gender mixed as well as homogeneous discussion groups, participants emphasised the importance of understanding each other in order to overcome gender biases and to share responsibilities and collaborate fairly as a team.
The intersectionality of gender with issues like working in a culturally different environment, being the first member of a family to pursue an academic or research career and financial difficulties were also discussed. Mentors and Mentees will agree on 6-8 (virtual) meetings between April 2019 and February 2020.
“I’m glad that this generation of scientists puts such great emphasis on collaboration and mutual support” says Katrin Amunts, HBP Scientific Research Director, “and that women are enabled to share their experiences with the assistance of a professional facilitator.”
“The HBP's Science and Infrastructure Board and Directorate are very much looking forward to listening to feedback from the mentoring program to learn how to better overcome gender biases and improve the overall gender balance in the HBP”, says Jan Bjaalie (Infrastructure Operations Director).
The HBP therefore welcomes all experienced scientsis and leaders within the project to register as mentors and to nominate high potential candidates for the program, especially women today on the International Women’s Day.
The call is also open for registration of mentees until 30th of March 2019.