18th International Conference on X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure

Statement on Gender Balance at XAFS2021

We have put forward the following initiatives to ensure gender balance and promote the involvement of all genders in X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy at all stages of their career.

Conference Organization Gender Balance Initiatives

  1. A person in charge of gender balance (gender balance advisor, Dr Adele Jones) has been appointed in the local organising committee to analyze and develop policies that ensure a fair gender balance.
  2. We have analysed the gender diversity of participants attending the last XAFS conference held in Poland in 2018 (see below) to set gender balance aims for XAFS2021.
  3. Based on this analysis, we have developed a speaker policy (see below) for the local organizing committee and chairs in their session of organization. As our analysis comprises an average of a sample from a population, and amongst different fields, in cases where we are not able to obtain the stated balance, the local organizing committee will be provided with a report of the names considered explaining why the aspirational gender balance goal was not obtained.
  4. The speaker policy of XAFS2021 will be made public via the conference website.
  5. After the conference, these initiatives will be critically analyzed and a report will be provided to the International Advisory Committee in order to analyze the outcomes and possible ways of improving these initiatives in the future.

Speaker Policy

Diversity and gender balance are important facts to observe and to strive to achieve. Hence, we have analyzed the gender composition of a sample of the scientific community that participated in XAFS2018, Kracow, Poland.

At XAFS2018, the gender balance was:

  1. Plenary speakers: 7 men, 3 women (30% women)
  2. Keynote (invited) speakers: 22 men, 9 women (30% women)
  3. Oral presentations (based on a random selection of 50 participants): 39 men, 11 women (22% women)
  4. Poster presentations (based on a random selection of 50 participants):35 men, 15 women (30% women)

As such, we have proposed to establish a 30% ratio as a minimum to be respected for all speakers at XAFS2021. However, given that not all fields have the same representation, if the ratio is difficult to respect, the local organizing committee may have to waive this requirement for certain speaker sessions.

After the conference

Conference organizers will collect the following information and submit it to the XAFS2021 International Advisory Committee (W=Woman, M=Man, O=Other):

  • W/M/O ratio of plenaries
  • W/M/O ratio of keynote speakers
  • W/M/O ratio of oral contributions
  • W/M/O ratio of poster contributions

This will lead to a meaningful statistic of gender representation in the community which will be published on the XAFS2021 website in order to develop general conscience of the issue

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