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Leadership for Women in STEMM: Lessons from Antarctica

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Aurora Lecture Theatre, IMAS Building

20 Castray Esplanade, Hobart

Hobart, Tasmania 7000

Australia

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Presented by Dr Meredith Nash, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Tasmania.

Moderated by Professor Brigid Heywood, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), University of Tasmania

Women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) fields worldwide, particularly in leadership positions.

In this presentation, Dr Nash will discuss her findings from a mixed-methods study on the leadership experiences of 25 women in STEMM fields who were all participants in a three-week transformational leadership program in Antarctica in 2016. Drawing on pre-program data, Dr Nash uses intersectional analysis to examine how categories of identity have shaped the participants’ experiences of science leadership. She argues that women in this study seemed to be caught in an ideological dilemma between recognising sexism and gender bias in their organisational contexts and seeing their organisations as gender neutral. Considering this dilemma through the lens of Berlant’s (2006) conception of ‘cruel optimism’, she argues that a post-feminist climate and a neoliberal ethic of meritocracy in science problematically bind women to a fantasy of success in which leadership is only attainable through arduous effort.

Refreshments from 5.30pm

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Aurora Lecture Theatre, IMAS Building

20 Castray Esplanade, Hobart

Hobart, Tasmania 7000

Australia

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