International Issues

Oral

394433 - Empowering Women in the Water Sector Through a Mentoring Program

Tuesday, June 5
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Lake Superior B
Co-Authors: Vinka Craver, Rhode Island – University of Rhode Island

According to a UNESCO report, women are underrepresented as world’s researchers. Similarly, NSF recently reported that women hold less than one-fourth of senior faculty positions in academic institutions and research centers. These numbers are more staggering in countries outside of the U.S. For example, at the Jordan University of Science and Technology in the Middle East (Irbid, Jordan), only 4.6% of tenured positions in the faculty of engineering are women, with no female full professor appointments as of 2015. To address this issues, the Women-Water Nexus (WWN), at the Environmental and Water Resources Institute, works to develop an international support network for water treatment and resources women scientists and engineers. We mainly focus on educational and professional development activities in order to increase the representation of women in leadership positions in academia, government, and private organizations. Here, we want to present and recruit mentors for our initiative called “Untapping the Power of Women in Water”. The program will specifically be designed to support women in participating and preparing for professional international conferences. Any female researchers, scientists and engineers from the U.S., Turkey, Afghanistan, Jordan, and Kazakhstan could apply to be a mentee in the proposed program. While priority will be given to women in early- and mid-career positions as these types of activities are most valuable for promotion, we will support women across all career levels. This initiative is currently under development and is supported in five countries: The United States, Turkey, Afghanistan, Jordan, and Kazakhstan. This program will promote essential skills for women to actively participate in the discussion and decision-making process related to water resources management, which are necessary to ensure sustainable development for the future.

Laura A. Schifman, PhD

Graduate Program Manager
Boston University

I'm an interdisciplinary environmental scientist with a focus on hydrology, ecosystem services, contaminant fate and transport, and nonpoint source pollution. I am interested in how biological, chemical, and physical processes can be integrated into successfully planning the (re)development of the sustainable city model in both, emerging and existing cities. My emphasis lies in how green infrastructure and urban soils can act as a form of integrated water resources management that generates multiple ecosystem services, including flood management, public health through vector borne disease control, air and water quality improvements.

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