Women in Fusion (WiF) has launched a website today where members can join a new global network for gender parity in fusion, improving diversity and increasing the visibility of women’s contributions to fusion. With this new website everyone interested in WiF’s mission can join the Women in Fusion community.
Fusion holds the promise for a clean and sustainable future and will offer unlimited energy for generations to come. Although fusion research for energy production has been around for more than 60 years, it is still in development. This generative phase offers an opportunity to create balanced gender participation, ensuring women provide knowledge and skills at all levels, including leadership roles.
Women in Fusion is a global platform for highlighting and encouraging the role of women in the fusion field, providing a tool for networking, and developing the needed evidence to shape policies around gender equity in fusion. Initiated by a collaboration of founding members including EUROfusion, WiF aims to collaborate with members and organizations around the world, inspire local Chapters, and ensure that women fusioneers around the world have a platform for support and community building.
Currently the participation of women in fusion energy mirrors the overall challenges of gender equity in STEM. Despite the strong participation of women studying STEM disciplines, when entering the professional arena women often face obstacles that block their path, leading to resignations from employment or plateauing in jobs below their levels.
Women in Fusion was established in 2021 after a successful webinar at the Fusion Energy Conference (FEC2020) where the main outcome was to create and launch a global network for women working in fusion science, research, engineering and operations. The Chair of WiF, Dr Sehila M. Gonzalez de Vicente, a senior expert in Fusion as Nuclear Fusion Physicist at IAEA, has been actively addressing the lack of gender parity in fusion for many years, leading webinars at the IAEA and speaking regularly about the topic.
According to Dr. Gonzalez de Vicente, “Women must play an active role in the development of new technologies to help society and to create the path that needs to be paved for women’s leadership. When women are involved, innovations and organizations are more successful, we know this already. Now let’s make it happen.’”
WiF is a collaborative effort driven by the founding partners IAEA, ITER, Fusion for Energy, General Atomics and EUROfusion. The website is launched today where anyone can join and participate in activities on the joint platform
In the coming period the Advisory Board will be appointed and the first WiF event will be organized by 2023.