Creating more opportunities for female presenters at eResearch events

Ms Jana Makar1, Ms. Megan Guidry1

1New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI), Auckland, New Zealand

In September 2020, New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI) launched a new initiative to support and celebrate the growing community of Research Software Engineers (RSEs) in Australasia. Delivered as a three-day virtual event, the 2020 NZ RSE Conference featured 34 speakers from 14 different organisations. Unfortunately, there was a significant gender imbalance, despite some efforts by the conference organisers to recruit more female presenters.

Following the event, members of the planning committee debriefed with members of the RSE community to discuss what changes could be made to create more opportunities for female speakers to present at future events. This talk will share some of the insights from that debrief. We would also like to dedicate a portion of this session for discussion amongst the session attendees to hear about others’ experiences and/or advice.


Jana Makar is the Communications Manager at New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI). Based at the University of Auckland, Jana coordinates a variety of engagement initiatives and external communications to raise the profile of NeSI’s activities, impacts, and collaborations.

Megan Guidry is the Training Coordinator at NeSI and Regional Coordinator for The Carpentries in New Zealand. Her main priority is raising the eResearch capability in New Zealand through training coordination and community building.

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