Dear College of Science Faculty and Staff,
Although International Women’s Day may smell like a commercially constructed event, in fact its origins go back to 1909. According to Wikipedia, “International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8 to commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women. It is also a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women.”
In the hundred or so years since the inception of International Women’s Day, there has been much to celebrate, especially in certain parts of the world. Take a look at this encouraging and comprehensive timeline for women’s rights in the United States since the 1600s. But the insidious disrespect of women has not gone away, and we must keep walking the track to promote respect and equity for women in Science, and indeed everywhere.
For International Women’s Day, and for Women’s History Month that is throughout March, the College of Science has supported our own events and discussion. This week, Associate Dean Kevin Thompson and Associate Dean Randall Hughes led an outstanding COS Connects seminar. We met the wonderful student recipients of the 2021 Advancing Women in Science Scholarships, with insights from a panel led by Linda Ayrapetov, Associate Director for Student Programs, and including Assistant Professor Hannah Sayre (CCB) and Assistant Professor Sara Constantino (Psychology). Each of the women in science acknowledged the outstanding opportunities, the significant challenges that remain, and the need to drive systemic change.
Other events of interest coming up include the Breaking Barriers in the Academy Panel Discussion hosted by COE and including joint COS/COE faculty member Loretta Fernandez (MES) on March 31. Our new DEI Awards (below) promote diversity, equity, and inclusion across all spheres, including promoting success of women.
A positive view always smooths the way forward, even as we acknowledge the negative impacts of gender stereotyping. In the Northeastern College of Science, we support a culture where each person understands they belong, a culture of respect that values the contributions of each person, across gender, gender identity, race, color, religion, religious creed, genetic information, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, veteran or disability status. We are dedicated towards actions promoting equity, inclusion and justice. These are the sincere and deep commitments we make as a College of Science Community.
Hazel Sive PhD
Dean, College of Science