Recently various bodies have issued statements or produced policy documents outlining their commitment to promoting full participation of female mathematicians. `Good policy’ refers to institutional policies aimed at removing potential barriers to women in the workplace, of example lack of access to suitable childcare facilities. We start with some items about the issues and examples of good practice for bringing children to conferences.

Childcare at conferences and research institutes

AWM's Childcare Statement (2010), together with some information about childcare grants for attending US conferences.

Here is a collection of references and links about childcare at conferences and research institutions made by Paola Elefante.

Here is a blog post about nursing mothers at conferences by Matilde Lalin.

Here is an example of a conference at the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics, Bonn at which exceptional provision was made for women bringing very young children.

Other actions and articles

 Harvard Kennedy School: Women and Public Policy Program: Gender Action Portal

“With its Gender Action Portal, the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School provides scientific evidence—based on experiments in the field and in the laboratory—on the impact of policies, strategies and organizational practices aimed at closing gender gaps in the areas of economic opportunity, politics, health, and education to help translate research into action and take successful interventions to scale.“


Institute of Mathematics and Applications (UK)

The IMA Policy on Women and Mathematics

International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics: Statement on Women in Mathematics

Excerpt: “As an international organisation representing the world’s applied mathematicians, ICIAM is committed to removing the educational inequalities in mathematics that exist in many parts of the world, and to improving the access to careers in the mathematical sciences for all men and women.”

London Mathematical Society
: Good Practice in UK mathematics departments

The London Mathematical Society strongly supports advancing women’s careers in university mathematics departments. The Society’s Women in Mathematics Committee has developed a Good Practice Scheme with the aim of supporting mathematics departments interested in embedding equal opportunities for women within their working practices. The Scheme provides specific support for departments working towards Athena SWAN Award status. Further information can be found in the Good Practice Scheme Booklet.

Thoughts on university leadership

A blog on gender balance, scientific communication (including open access), leadership development and more by Curt Rice.
Featured post: The motherhood penalty. It’s not children that slow mothers down.

Reducing Stereotype Threat

One of the reasons why it is very difficult to change the number of women in mathematics is, that in many countries we are very few to begin with, e.g. in northern Europe.  This immediately makes young women aware that they are different, if they pursue a mathematics career. In social psychology, “Stereotype threat”  is considered as one of the consequences of being “the odd one out”.

The website ReducingStereotypeThreat may be useful both within ourselves and when we teach: it explains what stereotype threat means and also how to fight it.



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