On October 17, “Women in Fusion” held a lunch event “Creating an Inclusive Fusion Workforce” within the Fusion Energy Conference 2023 (FEC 2023) in London, UK. It was clear that the topic of improving gender equity in fusion resonated with many of the FEC attendees as there were more than 100 participants attending the event from 13 countries with representation from all career levels in fusion. The IAEA Director General, Rafael Mariano Grossi, opened the event with comments emphasizing that action is needed to ensure gender balance is achieved at every level.
Women in Fusion (WiF), launched in July 2022, already has more than 500 members and has launched a mentoring program. It is clearly just starting to address some of the important challenges of achieving stronger representation by women in the field of fusion science and fusion energy.
Sehila Gonzalez, Chair of Women in Fusion and the Fusion Program Director at the Clean Air Task Force, US, opened the discussions with a reference to Professor Claudia Goldin’s work on the gender pay gap. Professor Goldin was also the first solo woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize.
‘The timing for this event seems to be written in the stars, perfect timing for a fusion event!’ stated.
Sehila Gonzales moderated the lively discussion where topics such as unconscious bias, daycare, mentoring and sponsorship, and networking were discussed. In addition, the need for evidence-based data that measures statistics on women contributing to fusion today are needed.
There is clearly a long road ahead, but this event was a strong step in the right direction.
Ms. Sehila GONZALEZ DE VICENTE, Chair of Women in Fusion
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