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.
NZMS Council statement on Women in Mathematics
Adopted at the Council meeting on December 3, 2018; read it here.
NZMS Policy on Conferences
The New Zealand Mathematical Society is concerned about the under-representation of women as invited speakers in mathematics conferences. In response to this concern the NZMS will no longer fund or advertise conferences where the proportion of female keynote speakers is below 30% (see below for details on how this should be calculated). We strongly encourage conference organisers, particularly of large conferences, to seek better gender diversity than this level and to ensure female participation at all levels of the conference and its organisation.
Calculation of the proportion female keynote speakers:
- If the conference has parallel sessions and plenary speakers, then 30% of the plenary speakers must be female.
- In the case where the conference has no parallel sessions, but some speakers have longer talk slots the calculation is as follows. If there is one speaker giving a longer talk the 30% rule applies to all other speakers. If more than one speaker has a longer talk slot, then 30% of speakers giving longer talks must be female.
- If the conference has no parallel sessions and all speakers have the same length talk slots, then 30% of the total speaker list must be female.
For conferences wishing NZMS funding or advertising, the websites and materials must clearly indicate who are the keynote speakers (for instance using words such as plenary, keynote, featured). To expediate your request (for funding or advertising) please indicate the proportion of female keynote speakers involved in your conference when you contact NZMS.
An event will be held at lunchtime on Thursday 7th of December, at the NZMS Colloquium. Please contact Vivien Kirk for more information.
The NZMS recognises that family responsibilities can be a barrier to attendance at conferences. To help address the possible financial barriers for parents or carers to attend conferences or workshops, the NZMS would like to make it clear that additional costs related to family responsibilities are eligible for funding within the NZMS Student Travel Grant and NZMS Financial Assistance programmes.
'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.
To help address the possible financial barriers for parents or carers to attend the Colloquium in 2016 we made a modest amount of money available to assist with the costs related to childcare responsibilities. This was a trial year and we are interested in any feedback from members.
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?
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
Related Groups & Organisations
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.