ESWN @EGU Networking Workshop in Vienna, Austria
On Sunday 7 April 2013 ESWN convened its first networking workshop at the European Geoscience Union assembly. Over 30 women attended from 14 different countries. After initial welcoming words from Agatha de boer, the meeting was started by an introduction of ESWN by European Board member Jaana Bäck. She detailed the history of the network, gave statistics of its members, and introduced all that ESWN has to offer for its members.
To begin the networking workshop itself, Mirjam Glessmer lead a practical activity how people in networks are linked to each other and to central figures. The activity helped attendees visualize the importance and breadth of your network and its broader impacts in a community. The workshop continued with inspirational female scientists openly speaking about their careers and success. Mira Bar-Matthews from the Geological Survey of Israel, an EGU medal winner of 2013, gave advice on work life balance and her message was “don’t expect things to be easy – it will be hard but it is worth the fight”. The second speaker was Barbara Wohlfarth from Stockholm University and a member of the Swedish Acadamy of Sciences who entertained us with beautiful pictures of all her field experiences. She was inspired by the meeting to write an open letter to the president of EGU about the negligible fraction of women who have received EGU medals over the last 10 years.
After a tea break in which EGU kindly sponsored the participant with delicious fruits and sandwiches, Camilla Hansen from the National Geographic Society shared opportunities for funding for field trips through the society. Next up, a panel was moderated by Jennifer Holden, to which the attendees could ask general questions such as how to deal with presention anxieties. The meeting closed with short breakout groups that discussed the positive sides of the workshop and what would be desirable in the future.
There was general consensus that it was great to have a Sunday workshop and that, while it was important to engage men in the dialogue, it was also important to have a women-only safe space meeting. The workshop was an overwhelming success with 25 submitted evaluations rating it 3.6/4.0 in terms of interest and usefulness.
The workshop was complemented by a reception the following Wednesday.