The Gender balance on the STREVA Project

Today (8th March) is International Woman’s Day.

This post celebrates the role that both male and female researchers play in STREVA (acting with and against ‘gender’ stereotype). It also pledges to run the project in a way that favours neither one gender nor the other; just good science.

We’ve spent a lot of this week analysing the outputs from our recent workshop, analysing volcanic risk on St. Vincent. We did something called a ‘paired comparison’ – and used these to assess both the relative ranking and degree of variance between respondents. One of the helpful aspects of these is that if we know something about our respondents we can look for any systematic differences between groups. It just so happens that we had an exact 50-50 split between male and female researchers on that trip. The plot below (modified from an output from Willy Aspinall) summarises the differences between those researchers (fairly evenly distributed in both cases across the various disciplines represented in STREVA).

Graphical form of a probabilistic inversion of a paired comparison for factors that would influence saving lives on St. Vincent. I'm not going to give you the key but the categories for now. See what assumptions you make in placing those criteria! They were: ability to convey uncertainty; a well informed public (on hazard); ability to interpret precursors to activity change; knowledge of hazard likelihood; ability to rehouse and relocate populations; ability to declare eruption/evacuation over in a timely manner; enahnced lifestyle deterring evacuation; strong community spirit and cohesion; public participation in planning/decisions. The filled circle represents the mean value.
Graphical form of a probabilistic inversion of a paired comparison for factors that would influence saving lives on St. Vincent in the event of a volcanic eruption. I’m not going to give you the key but just the categories for now. See what assumptions you make in placing those criteria – do the male-female comparisons give you any clues? Categories were: ability to convey uncertainty; a well informed public (on hazard); ability to interpret precursors to activity change; knowledge of hazard likelihood; ability to rehouse and relocate populations; ability to declare eruption/evacuation over in a timely manner; enahnced lifestyle deterring evacuation; strong community spirit and cohesion; public participation in planning/decisions. The filled circle represents the mean value.

In summary, not a great deal but there are still some interesting differences. Make of them what you will!

Finally, I guessed that STREVA is a gender-balanced project which is pretty good going. I thought. Here, however, are the numbers as submitted on our Je-S forms. Good, but could do better!

  • Principle Investigators: Male 4; Female 2 (33% women)
  • Co-Investigators: Male 8; Female 3 (27% women)
  • PDRA/RA: Male 4; Female 5 (56% women)
  • Project Partners (volcano observatories) Male 3; Female 3 (50% women)
  • Project Partners (others) Male 5: Female 1 (17% women)
  • KE Fellows: 2 female; 0 male. (100% women!)

Overall: 38% of those involved in STREVA are female. Interesting that I thought it was 50-50!

Another great legacy from the STREVA Project would be working together to ensure that those employed on temporary contracts (the PDRA and RA’s and one of the KE Fellows) move through to CoI and PI status preserving that 50-50 balance.

Let’s see what we can do to support that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s