Attracting more women into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields is an increasingly important goal that many NEA member countries are pursuing. In view of this, the NEA is supporting its members in developing targeted policies to increase the participation of women in the nuclear science and technology field.
As part of these efforts, the Agency convened a high-level meeting on 20 April 2021 to discuss survey instruments for data collection on women’s presence in the nuclear energy sector. The meeting built on earlier dialogue held with member countries in February and in March. It was chaired by Aleshia Duncan, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Nuclear Energy Policy and Cooperation in the Office of Nuclear Energy at the United States Department of Energy.
During the meeting, participating member country representatives explored methods to translate the indicators identified in March into a set of two data collection instruments: i) an instrument to collect quantitative data on women’s participation in the nuclear sector, and ii) a survey to gather insights into the challenges and barriers faced by women during their careers that may be unique to the nuclear sector. Ten NEA member countries are actively participating in this effort.
NEA’s ongoing efforts in addressing the challenges related to the participation of women in nuclear energy activities were commended at the NEA Steering Committee biannual meeting held last week. There are currently several NEA initiatives on capacity and gender balance, including the Nuclear Education, Skills and Technology (NEST) Framework, the Global Forum on Nuclear Education, Science, Technology and Policy, and the International Mentoring Workshops.