Engaging discussions about equality, diversity and inclusion at the first Open Forum


On 20th October MINDtheGEPs held its first Open Forum, where Oxana Mishina from MINDtheGEPs partner CNR presented the equality work at the Quantum Flagship project. The Open Forum series invites MINDtheGEPs members as well as the public to listen to experienced keynote presenters and engage in discussions. The hope is to inspire participants to exchange knowledge and share insights, and Oxana Mishina’s presentation did just that.

MINDtheGEPs Open Forum is a series on equality, diversity and inclusion in academia and research. Considering the Quantum Flagship’s long history of working for gender equality and Oxana Mishina’s leading role in that work, her presentation was a great start to the Open Forum series.

From the beginning of the Quantum Flagship project in 2018, it was recognized as a project with potential impact across all parts of society. Therefore, it was crucial to raise awareness about equality issues and develop strategies from the start. A voluntary group for gender equality in quantum technologies was formed, which since then evolved into a structure of many groups working for gender equality and diversity, with a dedicated budget from the Quantum Flagship.

Oxana Mishina chairs the Working Group on Equity and Inclusion of the Quantum Technology Education Community (QTEdu) and is a member of the working group Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Quantum Technologies. In the Open Forum, Oxana Mishina presented the activities and experiences of these two working groups among which are community survey, unconscious bias trainings, and policy advice.

“MINDtheGEPs’ Open Forum was my first occasion to discuss the equality, diversity and inclusion dimensions in research in the interdisciplinary and international community, and it was like opening the door to the big world for me”, says Oxana Mishina. “I experienced that there was a lot of alignment with the participants, as if we have been working side by side. This was stunning to me and made me very motivated to engage in future activities.”

Oxana Mishina says that the exchange of ideas was truly open, and even though the topics are often conflicting and opinions differ, it was precious to have a space where all points of view are heard. She specifically mentions being inspired by hearing the way some universities in Italy are experimenting to benefit the departments for recruiting female faculty members. Another topic that spurred discussion was the difficulties with engaging men in the work for gender equality, which many participants agreed is one main challenge. As chance would have it, the next Open Forum will be on this exact topic, hopefully giving some answers to the questions raised.

Register for the next Open Forum Leveraging privilege - advocates, allies, & gender equity in universities on the 14th December at 15.00-16.30 CET!

Watch Oxana Mishina’s presentation below:

By Marika Ljungberg

News from MINDtheGEPs

Last modified: 2023-08-25