New Zealand Mathematical Society

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Women in Mathematics

The New Zealand Mathematical Society is concerned about under-representation of women in the mathematics community, from participation in mathematics classes in high school through to the higher levels of research and teaching.

The NZMS is committed to supporting women in mathematics and seeks frameworks and policies that will encourage women to have active careers in the mathematical sciences.

Upcoming Events

  • A Reception for Women in Mathematics and their Supporters will be held after the NZMS AGM on Monday 5th December at NZ Mathematics Colloquium.
    Everyone is welcome. The reception is sponsored by Te Pūnaha Matatini and will be chaired by Dion O'Neale. A title and abstract-like description of the theme for the event is:
'Being an ally: what we can all do to improve equity.'

Advocating for improved equity is a task that often falls to members of under-represented groups. This is problematic for a number of reasons; not least because it means that some of the voices that most need to be heard are least numerous and are, perhaps, undermined by perceptions of self-interest.

This event will begin with some background on what it means to be an ally, the benefits it can bring, and some of the potential pitfalls that can be associated with it. Over drinks, we will discuss the things that we can all do as individuals, both at work and at home, in order to improve equity in our departments and the New Zealand mathematical sciences community.

This event comes with a code of conduct, which you can read about here.

The NZMS recognises that childcare responsibilities can be a barrier to attendance at conferences. To help address the possible financial barriers for parents or carers to attend the Colloquium, the NZMS has set aside a modest amount to help with additional costs related to childcare responsibilities. Due to the diversity of situations and individual requirements, the spending of the funds will be discretionary, especially in this trial year.

Interested persons should discuss their needs with the local organising contact person at VUW: Hung Le Pham.

  • If you have any suggestions for future events or initiatives, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Astrid an Huef.

Funding Opportunities


  • The Leah Edelstein-Keshet Prize. In February 2016 the Officers and Elected Directors of the Society for Mathematical Biology unanimously approved the Leah Edelstein-Keshet Prize to recognize the exceptional scientific contributions made by a woman in mathematical biology. The award will be given every other year beginning in 2017. The official announcement and further information can be found in the SMB digest.

Past events

  • A Women in Mathematics Networking event will be held during the NZMS Colloquium on Tuesday 1 December, 6pm in Erskine 447 (Erskine Building, corner of Science and Engineering Roads). You can register for this on the registration page. Both men and women are welcome to attend!
As a particular talking point at the reception, we suggest people inform themselves about the recent SAGE initiative in Australia, and especially the pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter in Australian STEM organisations. How would we start something similar in NZ?
  • A panel discussion on "Parental leave, part-time status and negotiating these things" will be held in Erskine 445 at 1:30pm on Wednesday 2 December during the NZMS Colloquium. There will be lots of times for questions.
This dinner highlighted the mathematical careers of the female plenary speakers at the ANZMC and celebrated women in mathematics, stimulating conversation on topics that impact the careers of all mathematicians.

Useful Links & Resources

  • Gender Bias in Academe is an annotated bibliography of important recent studies relating to gender bias in academia put together by some researchers at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
  • Project Implicit is a fun quiz from Harvard University to find out your implicit associations about race, gender, sexual orientation, and other topics.
  • Athena SWAN Charter is a (UK based) initiative which recognises commitment to advancing women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.
  • Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) Initiative has been recently launched and is running a pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter in Australian universities.

Related Groups & Organisations


Mailing list

Please email Astrid an Huef if you would like to be added to an email list for updates on events and news on gender equality in mathematics.