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November 2007

NCAR launches Women in Science committee

beth holland

Beth Holland.

A new committee dedicated to issues that affect women at NCAR across job categories is currently soliciting members. Its founders expect to have the initiative, called the Standing Committee on Women in Science (SCWS), up and running by January 1.

A group of female senior scientists came up with the idea of forming the committee about a year and a half ago. Many of them had been active in issues of women in science for years, both at UCAR/NCAR and within the broader science community. After a series of preliminary meetings, they submitted a proposal to NCAR director Tim Killeen.

“Women scientists at NCAR have a long history of working together,” says senior scientist Beth Holland (ESSL/ACD), who will serve as the committee’s first chair. “The first women senior scientists were strong advocates of women’s issues since they came on board, and as more of us have accumulated, we’ve had an ebb and flow of activities over the years to make the organization’s science and culture more woman-friendly.”

Beth emphasizes that the phrase “women in science” has a broad meaning for the new committee, encompassing female scientific and non-scientific staff and visitors who contribute to or support science at UCAR/NCAR/UOP. This includes technical and administrative staff.

“The realization of human potential translates into realization of the institution’s scientific potential,” Beth says.

The committee, which is intended as an inclusive, collaborative effort, is open to both genders. Its mission is to identify, clarify, advise, and make recommendations to the organization regarding attitudes and issues that affect female staff and the overall health and effectiveness of the organization. It will help maintain and encourage a culture of respect for individual differences and a climate that promotes inclusion and equal opportunities for everyone.

Once its members have been chosen, SCWS’s first task will be to review the organization’s mission statement and then craft its own mission statement. Examples of some activities that fall under its purview include • reviewing policies and procedures that affect job applicants to ensure that UCAR/NCAR draws and promotes talent and ideas from all segments of the population;

  • promoting equal opportunity for all job applicants and staff;

  • considering the dual challenges that may impact female staff who are also members of a racial minority;

  • assessing the role of women in the organization’s decision-making structure; and

  • encouraging respect for individual differences and bringing issues of particular concern to women to the attention of the NCAR Directorate and the organization as a whole.

Any staff interested in joining SCWS should send an e-mail message to Beth Holland (eholland@ucar.edu) and Carol Park (park@ucar.edu) by December 10. Applicants should state why they want to be involved and share any personal anecdotes that inspire them to want leadership roles in the committee’s formation. The letters and information will remain confidential.

In this issue...

IPCC contributors share in Nobel Peace Prize

Remembering John Firor and Janet Roberts

Sunrise test flight successful

Same library, new home

A firsthand look at disappearing sea ice

NCAR launches Women in Science committee

Fantastic forum

Staff win awards for science, multicultural service

Just One Look

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