A couple of weeks ago, I went to Manhattan to participate in the WINGS WorldQuest Gala and Forum. The Gala was a celebration of scientists-and-explorers-who-are-women, especially the six new WINGS fellows (Beate Liepert, Sheila Ochugboju, Kristen Marhaver, Juliana Machado Ferreira, Marla Spivak, and Hope Jahren- read about them here). Six of us Flag Carriers also officially returned our expedition flags (you can find our expedition reports here). The Forum gave us all a chance to learn about each others’ work, to chat, and to have a robust conversation about sexual harassment many women face in research and higher education (see, for example, #SAFE13 and Hope’s piece here).
Interestingly, despite the event not being advertised as “women-only,” the only person at the Forum who did not identify as a woman was the man managing the sound system. It is absolutely critical to have men (researchers and not) in attendance at events like this one showcasing women in science as we all work toward greater gender equity in research environments. At the same time, there is a special power and magic in women discussing their work and work environments with fewer gender-based issues to worry about in the moment. Both are necessary and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to experience the latter.
I left the Forum so inspired, emboldened and fired up that I walked right through Times Square, and even paused long enough to take a few photos, on my way back to the hotel. (Trust me: for me, that’s a bigger deal than you think.)
Thanks to WINGS WorldQuest, the Fellows and the Flag Carriers!
(I’ll post the video from the display in a separate post.)