Women in Environmental Sciences is a network of (non)/professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds whose work and interest cover a range of disciplines including environmental sciences, ecology, engineering, social sciences, and the arts as they relate to environmental sustainability. The network aims to encourage, support and empower women working in environmental science.
The aims of the Women in Environmental Sciences (WiES) network and meetings are to:
- create a platform and a social space to ensure that regular and effective engagement about women and environmental issues takes place;
- develop institutional support that is needed to help empower women at all levels to cope with the problems of equality, health, poverty and, food insecurity; and other challenges of climate change e.g. water and air quality impacts;
- promote and encourage access to lifelong learning for women who are returning to education.
- Encourage knowledge sharing and promote opportunities for mentoring and to initiate a new generation of informed environmental science advocates, activists and practitioners.
A brief history
How it started
The Women in Environmental Sciences (WiES) network started in June 2018 by Dr Cecilia Medupin with the award she received from The University of Manchester’s Office of Social Responsibility.
In her words, Dr Medupin stated that women are working more than in the past years as they constitute 41% of the total labour force, with subtle differences between the high, medium and low-income countries (according to the World Bank Group)
With the challenges of the narrow pay gap between women and men, in the UK, more than half (57.1%) of the students enrolled in higher education are women. Most affected in climate change and other environmental impacts are women and children. Therefore, knowing and having this information suggests that women have a lot to offer to their communities, organisations in promoting effective policies, leadership, environmental protection and management. However, there have been limited spaces in our world for women to confidently share their thoughts and experiences and for their voices to be heard.
The Women in Environmental Sciences core team may be small, but we have an interconnecting network of people from across different UK and international institutions, who come together to discuss the latest issues in equality in the sciences.
Cecilia is a senior lecturer in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at The University of Manchester and the convener of the Women in Environmental Sciences network and conference. Cecilia is a Nigerian, has worked in different parts of the Nigeria as she speaks some languages and has worked in different parts of the UK as an environmental regulator with the UK Environment Agency, as a compliance advisor with the Sellafield Limited, formerly known as the British Nuclear Fuels, and in academia amongst other roles.
She is an active member of the equality, diversity of inclusion of the University’s Faculty of science and engineering, the science organisation, the British Ecological Society. Cecilia is a Public Engagement Champion and is an active member of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences recruitment, outreach and public engagement initiatives.
Through her engagement and teaching activities, Cecilia aims to increase inclusivity for women working in any discipline those impacts upon environmental sustainability and on increasing the participation of ethnic minority groups in the sciences. Her research focus is to assess, monitor and manage urban watercourses through the use of organisms and their interactions with changes in their environment.