10.03.2017 - Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

Celebrating Women in Oceanography on International Women’s Day

©UNESCO: Webinar screen shot captures interactive action between audience and renowned women oceanographers

Young women engaged in ocean sciences from around the world had the chance to exchange with some of Oceanography’s women leaders during a webinar organized by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).

The webinar sought to give the floor to three women oceanographers to share their compelling personal and professional narratives with younger generations about working and rising in a mostly male-dominated field. The forum was animated by IOC’s Ocean Literacy Programme Specialist, Francesca Santoro.

All participants had the opportunity to directly interact with the three speakers: Wendy Watson-Wright, Chief Executive Officer of the Ocean Frontier Institute; Dr Paola Cessi, Professor of Oceanography at the University of California; and Dr Suchana Apple Chavanich, Assistant Professor at Chulalongkorn University’s Department of Marine Science.

“There is much work to do, but a lot of it has to do with inspiring confidence in junior scientists … and offering a form of discussion or advice when needed”, said Paola Cessi.

Discussion in the webinar forum embraced a spirit of mutual help that the participants, coming from five different continents, had the opportunity to share and learn about mentoring, employability, challenges faced by disabled women in ocean sciences, and much more.

The webinar also explored the different ways in which UNESCO and IOC could further promote gender equity in the ocean sciences. Opening the webinar, IOC’s Executive Secretary Vladimir Ryabinin reinforced the importance of embracing and celebrating women for their amazing contribution to the ocean sciences throughout modern history.

“The IOC should be the conscience of its member states by constantly reminding them of the need to take advantage of 100% of the population’s talents rather than only 50%,” emphatically mentioned Wendy Watson-Wright.

The following outputs of the “Women in Oceanography” webinar are available online:

Video recording

Forum chat transcription

For more information, please contact: Francesca Santoro (f.santoro@unesco.org) or Kirsten Isensee (k.isensee@unesco.org)

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