Empowering Women in Nuclear Safety Worldwide: An IAEA Webinar

Empowering Women in Nuclear Safety Worldwide: An IAEA Webinar



Much advances in nuclear science and many breakthrough discoveries have been made thanks to the contribution of women scientists – but to date women are underrepresented in many areas of nuclear science, including nuclear safety. A new IAEA initiative aims to change that.

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Much advances in nuclear science and many breakthrough discoveries have been made thanks to the contribution of women scientists – but to date women are underrepresented in many areas of nuclear science, including nuclear safety. A new IAEA initiative aims to change that.

“Nuclear safety needs the talent of both men and women, as diversity and gender equality are beneficial to all sectors. However, it is important to understand and overcome the barriers women may face in order to get involved and thrive in the field, ”said Elena Buglova, director of the IAEA’s Nuclear Safety Division. “I hope that through this important initiative we can learn from the experiences of women from the Agency and the Member States and help promote and strengthen women’s participation in nuclear safety around the world.”

The IAEA recently launched the Women in Nuclear Security Initiative (WINSI) to inspire young women to take up jobs in this sector. As the first activity under this initiative, the IAEA is organizing a series of webinars, the first of which focused on the IAEA’s role in empowering women in nuclear safety. You can watch the recording of the webinar Here.

Initiatives such as WINSI support the stronger representation of women in the nuclear field, a central goal of the IAEA, which aims to achieve gender parity in occupational and higher occupational groups by 2025. The IAEA for nuclear safety and security are currently women.

Dominique Mouillot, President of Women in Nuclear (WiN) Global, highlighted how the WINSI initiative aligns with WiN’s mission to promote interest in nuclear technology, engineering and science and to increase diversity, especially gender balance, in nuclear science professions to reach. During the webinar, WINSI was officially inaugurated as a lobby group under the umbrella of WiN Global.

Starting with education

An essential component of enabling individuals to embark on a career in the nuclear industry is providing them with the necessary knowledge, expertise and knowledge in the field. To this end, the IAEA provides universities and colleges with support in building nuclear safety education programs to advance the next generation of professionals.

To help develop a more balanced nuclear safety sector for the future, the IAEA is also encouraging universities to include more women in such programs, and last year launched the IAEA’s Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship program.

Bilikisu Adeola Muse, Regulatory Officer at the Nigerian Nuclear Safety Authority and a graduate of the IAEA-sponsored International Masters Program in Nuclear Safety, said during the webinar, “It is important to have identifiable and effective role models, not just in nuclear safety, but also in the field entire nuclear sector and being looked after by the best. ”She added that more women are now able to share success stories with the younger generation than in the past.

“Supporting and building the capacity of all people, and especially women, is one of the main goals of the IAEA’s many projects,” said Oum Keltoum Hakam, IAEA Education Officer and speaker during the webinar. “In addition to targeted initiatives such as WINSI, the IAEA supports specialists in the member states through a large number of training and further education programs, for example the International and Regional Schools for Nuclear Safety.”

The webinar also provided an opportunity to shed light on the various areas of work in the field of nuclear safety. Former IAEA Representative on Nuclear Safety and current Adviser on Nuclear Safety and Non-Proliferation for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Commission, Bakri Noor Fitriah, used her own career to explain roles in nuclear safety regulators as well as the challenges she faced. “From drafting laws behind a desk to handling equipment, nuclear safety is a very interesting and diverse field and is open to everyone.”

Many professions play a role in nuclear safety. Customs officers, police officers and border guards are essential to uncovering criminal or illicit activities either through risk analysis and education or the use of radiation detection.

“Security risks have increased and diversified, and a diverse workforce is better suited to address new threats,” said Constanza Bucarey Andaur of the Department of Illegal Traffic Control in Chile. “Participation in the training and programs that the IAEA organizes is key to helping workers, men and women, develop new skills to meet the ever-evolving challenges.”

This webinar is the first from WINSI. The next part of the series on “Women in Information and Computer Security in the Nuclear World” is planned for Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Further information can be found on the WINSI website.

Read more about the IAEA’s work on gender equality.

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