STOR-i Womens+ Network

Image of hybrid planning meeting of the Womens+ Network
Womens+ Network planning meeting

Women, people of colour, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people from low-income backgrounds are often under-represented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields (Estrada et al., 2016; Rivers, 2017). As well as being unjust, this lack of diversity limits the potential for innovation and discovery - hence the importance of supporting and promoting work groups that focus on raising awareness of existing biases (Madera et al., 2009; Handley et al., 2015) and advocating for these disadvantaged groups in STEM.

The Womens+ Network within STOR-i, established in 2022, helps to raise awareness about these issues and advocates for change. In providing a safe and inclusive space for members to connect and support one other, it aims for its members to connect with other under-represented groups in their fields, share knowledge and experience, and gain confidence and skills in order to advance in their careers. By acknowledging and addressing the barriers that prevent diversity in STEM, we can create a more inclusive and innovative community for everyone.

The network has run very successful events during its first term, hosting guest speakers such as Dr. Anna-Lena Sachs and Prof. Rebecca Killick; receiving Dr. Anastasia Ushakova who led a workshop on imposter syndrome, and Dr. Carolina Euan who shared her experience of working around the globe and adapting to different cultures. In October, we organised a book club for Black History Month, and are currently running a book club for LGBTQ+ History Month. Other activities include TidyTuedays coding sessions, designed by the group to help strengthen coding skills in a supportive setting.


  • Estrada, M., Burnett, M., Campbell, A.G., Campbell, P.B., Denetclaw, W.F., Gutiérrez, C.G., Hurtado, S., John, G.H., Matsui, J., McGee, R. and Okpodu, C.M., 2016. Improving underrepresented minority student persistence in STEM. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 15(3), p.es5.
  • Handley, I.M., Brown, E.R., Moss-Racusin, C.A. and Smith, J.L., 2015. Quality of evidence revealing subtle gender biases in science is in the eye of the beholder. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(43), pp.13201-13206.
  • Madera, J.M., Hebl, M.R. and Martin, R.C., 2009. Gender and letters of recommendation for academia: agentic and communal differences. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(6), p.1591.
  • Rivers, E., 2017. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in science and engineering. National Science Foundation.

Womens+ Celebration Event: The STOR-i Womens+ Network will be holding a celebration event to recognise the outstanding achievements of members of the Womens+ community in STOR-i and showcase all that the Womens+ Network has achieved so far!

Coinciding with International Women's Day, the event will include an introduction to the Womens+ Network, a chance to honour individual accomplishments and inspirations, and the opportunity to network over lunch. We will also provide a space to share how we can best support and include members of the womens+ community in STOR-i and STEM as a whole.

About International Women's Day: Celebrated annually on 8th March, this is a day that honours the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world. It is also a day to raise awareness of gender inequality and advocate for women's rights; to acknowledge the progress that has been made, while also recognising that there is still much work to be done.

The theme for International Women's Day 2023 is 'DigitaALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality', celebrating the women and girls who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education.

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