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The main objective of the conference is to recognize the value of a STEM education to virtually any sector (policy making, academia, business, industry etc.). The conference will serve as a stocktaking and analytic exercise, as well as a platform for discussing opportunities and barriers that have influenced women's leadership in STEM.

The conference aims to:

  • Celebrate and reflect on 10 years of progress toward advancing women in STI.
  • Engage early-career women in STI through strong networking and mentoring opportunities.
  • Identify barriers to the advancement of women in STI and generate context-specific solutions.
  • Identify tools for motivating and empowering women in their early career choices.


The conference will focus on the following topics so as to stimulate discussions around the main theme of WLSTE+10, Science Empowers Women:

Science and Leadership: A STEM background supports decision-makers and empowers women to become tomorrow's leaders; success stories and role models; conditions, empowerment factors and motivators; challenges, biases and unwelcoming climates; leadership avenues and support programs. 

Innovation Needs Women: Innovation is essential for a productive, diversified economy; success stories, initiatives and key women innovators; role of women in social and technological innovation; struggles and achievements in the innovation economy.

STEM Makes it Better: A STEM degree creates problem-solvers and independent, critical thinkers; marriage of STEM sciences and liberal arts; Science in the classroom; importance of STEM in interdisciplinary endeavors; STEM education shapes life skills.

Science Creates Career Avenues: From academia to Industry and other non-academic career paths; making the transition; success stories; policies and internationally replicable models.

Innovation and Leadership: The impact of leadership styles on innovation; Women as Entrepreneurs; Innovative thinking complements business thinking; teamwork, collaboration and innovation management.

Science, Policy and Society: Strategies towards evidence-based policy-making; engaging policy-makers in scientific dialogue; science for the public; citizen science; multi-sectorial partnerships between the scientific community, NGOs and industry; the role of science in decision-making; the social return on investments (SROIs) for science; global tools and indicators.

Early Career STEM: Early exposure to STEM sciences; cultural biases and barriers; global initiatives and success stories; science communication; career counseling and alliance-building programs.