Workshop: Women in marine mammal science: Breaking down barriers to success (28 October 2017)

We are excited to be bringing the following full day workshop to the 22nd Biennial Marine Mammal Conference.

Women in marine mammal science: Breaking down barriers to success. 
Saturday October 28
8 am – 5 pm 
A full summary of the workshop is below, in addition further information is available on our workshop website

We will post news and updates to the website throughout the next few months.
For more information please contact us at

We look forward to meeting you and engaging with you in Halifax,

Erin Ashe, Amanda Bradford, Frances Robertson, Mridula Srinivasan, and Maria Constanza Marchesi
Women comprise approximately half of the Society of Marine Mammalogy’s (SMM) membership and a similar proportion are first authors in Marine Mammal Science.  However, like other STEM fields, women continue to be underrepresented in career positions within the field of marine mammal science, in the SMM, and similar professional societies.  In addition to challenges faced by women seeking higher positions in STEM fields, women face unique barriers to success when advancing in marine mammal science.

This workshop seeks first to identify these barriers to success and then to present strategies that individuals and institutions (including the SMM) can implement to break the barriers down.  Each of the two workshop components will include a combination of presentations, panel discussions, and breakout sessions that will feature a diverse group of women from a range of career stages and countries working in different sectors of marine mammal science, who can speak to the challenges and successes they have experienced advancing in the field.  The specific topics will be refined by a survey in advance of the workshop, but are likely to cover external and internal barriers to seeking professional opportunities, grant writing, publishing, conducting fieldwork, science communication, and – building on the foundation established by Hooker et al. 2017 – career-life balance.

The goals of the workshop are to:

  1. Provide a set of tools that women can use to advance their careers in marine mammal science,
  2. Create a virtual international network for women in marine mammal science to offer support and mentorship,
  3. Make recommendations to the SMM on formalizing a statement and programs related to diversity and inclusion,
  4. Prepare a paper for submission to Marine Mammal Science summarizing the content and outcome of the workshop.

While the workshop will focus on women’s leadership in marine mammal science, all conference participants are welcome to attend.