First network of female scientists at MedUni Vienna
(Vienna, 22 October 2010) On the initiative of the Gender Mainstreaming department at MedUni Vienna, in 2005 a pilot project began which has now led to the first continuous independent medical network for female scientists. Last Tuesday the kick-off event for this took place with Rector Wolfgang Schütz. Here there were lectures from top-class specialists, a subsequent panel discussion and networking among colleagues.
Back in 2005 the Gender Mainstreaming department under its patron Vice Rector Ao. Univ. Prof. Dr. Karin Gutiérrez-Lobos began "Frauen.netz.werk.", a unique mentoring programme to specifically promote and support female scientists who are at a threshold in terms of their future careers. After completion of this pilot project, from May 2006 numerous participants in the programme gathered together at independent, successful monthly networking meetings to exchange information and to give each other mutual support to help their careers.
The first major success coming from this arrived in 2009 with the decision to establish a network with the aim of making themselves visible to the outside, developing further and also opening up to younger colleagues. Since 6 February 2010 the medical network of female scientists WNW-Med at MedUni Vienna has also been officially established and therefore represents the first continuous independent medical network of female scientists in Austria. At the kick-off event on 19 October university lecturer Ass. Prof. Dr. Tamar Kinaciyan from the Department of Dermatology has been appointed as the first President, and Vice Rector Gutiérrez-Lobos was welcomed as the first honorary member because of her extensive support during the start-up phase.
The goals of WNW-Med are the exchange of information, mutual support in research and careers, promotion of upcoming female scientists, cooperation with other networks of female scientists, setting up joint research projects, holding continuing education and training courses and much more. Here it is particularly important for those running this network that everyone deals with each other as colleagues in a non-hierarchical manner so that upcoming female scientists in particular can be provided with a barrier-free platform and contact point.
The current activities are focussed on setting up and starting running the homepage (soon to be found at wnw-med.at), continuing the series of further education and training measures and lectures initiated six months ago and establishing links to other university and non-university networks.
Tamar Kinaciyan says on the first successes of WNW-Med: "I am pleased about the great deal of interest shown so far in our network which has already been extended by new members. I am also particularly pleased about the successful kick-off event and the new registrations, which have been coming continually since then."