Public Release: 

'Women in science: breaking the bias habit' workshop planned

American Society of Agronomy

Greater numbers of women are in the workplace and represented in science. While roles have expanded, personal and institutional biases still exist.

The "Breaking the Bias Habit to Promote Gender Equity" mini-workshop planned at the Synergy in Science ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN, will address this important topic. The interactive session will be held Tuesday, November 17, 2015. The meeting is sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

"It's important to know what implicit bias is, how it operates, and how to recognize its impact," keynote speaker Jennifer Sheridan says. "We'll be talking about unconscious processing and bias that is present in the workplace setting. We will also share some strategies that people can use to break these habits."

Sheridan is the executive and research director of the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. WISELI is nationally recognized for educating faculty about unconscious/implicit bias in academic settings, including the hiring process. The WISELI team has delivered workshops or talks on the topic to over 40 campuses or groups of campuses since 2005.

"We all have implicit biases. Everybody needs to work on it. Most people--men and women--want to be fair and would be horrified to find that they unwittingly were biased against any person. To avoid biased behaviors, we must find out about our unconscious biases and do the work required to align our conscious actions to our egalitarian values," says Sheridan.

Samira Daroub, a professor at the University of Florida, is chair of the Women in Agronomy, Crops, Soils and Environmental Sciences Committee. "We have a lot of biases in our life, whether we realize it or not," she says. "Our focus will be on gender equity in academic settings and gender bias in general."

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For more information about the Synergy in Science 2015 meeting, visit https://www.acsmeetings.org/. Media are invited to attend the conference. Pre-registration by Nov. 1, 2015, is required. Visit https://www.acsmeetings.org/newsroom for registration information.

For information about the "Breaking the Bias Habit to Promote Gender Equity" mini-workshop, visit https://scisoc.confex.com/scisoc/2015am/webprogram/Session14808.html.

To speak with our presenter, contact Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, sfisk@sciencesocieties.org to arrange an interview.

Media invitation. Please RSVP by November 1, 2015.

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