The ZF-MODELS Consortium recognizes the difficulties faced by women scientists in the structures that have existed, particularly in reconciling family commitments with maintaining research careers. The loss of women researchers is a significant problem as it represents a loss of scientific capacity, which Europe needs to advance the knowledge based society, which is one of the strategic objectives of the Sixth Framework Programme. The consortium has therefore adopted the following action plan:
The PIs who are responsible for recruitment of new personnel to the project encourage applications from female researchers.
All the partners are equal opportunity employers and have equal opportunity policies in place. On the basis of a comparative report prepared by the project manager, which will take into account the arrangements that exist in each of the partner institutions, the ZF-MODELS governing board will make policy recommendation to the partners, which are expected to ensure suitable support measures for female researchers in terms of parental leave and child support. Group meetings and other events are arranged at times that cause minimum disruption for those with young families.
Most of the partners have a pro-active policy for recruiting female students at both under graduate and post graduate levels. This will be reinforced by the active participation of partners in science fairs and other recruitments events.
Both the early stage and experienced female researchers will take full part in presentations of their work in scientific conferences and workshops. They will also take part in presentations for the press and media.
A network of female scientists involved in the project at all levels will be formed to:
- monitor and advise the coordinator and governing board on personnel issues
- to ensure that active participation of female PhDs and post docs in project activities both from within the project and from related areas and
- to advise on project activities aimed at encouraging more women into science