Women in Science Summit on January 28 to spotlight diversity

Faculty at UC Santa Cruz helped organize the summit at the California Academy of Sciences featuring alumna Kathy Sullivan and other influential science leaders


A Women in Science Summit co-sponsored by the UCSC Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology will take place on Thursday, January 28, at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The event is now full, but parts of it will be live-streamed on Google+.

The all-day event was organized by Rita Mehta, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz; Meg Lowman, chief of science and sustainability at the California Academy of Sciences; and Heather Tallis, acting chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy and adjunct professor of environmental studies at UC Santa Cruz.

There are still many challenges for women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers, Mehta said. Issues such as work-life balance, salary negotiation, hidden biases, and lack of role models continue to create hurdles for women in these fields. One goal of the summit is to offer a strong regional network for Bay Area women in science embarking on a career path.

The event includes panel discussions on a range of topics, including "Diversity in science and perceptions of women"; "Role models, allies, mentorship"; and "Strategies for Success: Work-life balance, families, networking, negotiating."

Invited guests include Jane Goodall (Gombe Reserve), Sylvia Earle (National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence), Kathy Sullivan (UCSC alumna and head of NOAA), Jonathan Eisen (UC Davis), Dawn Wright (ESRI), Pam Matson (Stanford University), Jane Lubchenco (Oregon State University), and other prominent scientists. These influential scientists will talk about their careers, share stories to inspire student attendees, and offer an important mentoring role.