Revision as of 16:30, 7 February 2014 by AudeBer (Talk | contribs)

Please note that all information on this page is in a draft version. Please check back often for details.

The iGEM competition will be welcoming and fun for all students regardless of gender or orientation. This page is dedicated to explore gender balance in iGEM. It presents the results of study that assessed gender balance in iGEM over the years, tips to improve mixity in iGEM teams and invites you to get involved in making the iGEM competition an example for scientists regarding gender balance.

Gender balance in iGEM : the 2013 study

During their human practices work, iGEM teams are encouraged to consider the social and human aspects of scientific research including issues of gender. Here we showcase a study conducted by the Paris Bettencourt 2013 team on the subject of women in synthetic biology and in iGEM. Their main conclusions:

  • Gender balance correlates with success in iGEM! Prize-winning teams show gender ratios approaching 50%, while typical teams do not.

  • As of 2013 women are underrepresented in iGEM, particularly in mentor or advisor roles. Only 37% of the students participating in iGEM are women. This proportion has not changed throughout the years, and it is the same in Asia, Europe and America. As for mentor and advisors, the number drops to 22%

  • In survey data, women express less interest than men in taking leadership roles on their iGEM team.

  • Encouraging more women to participate as iGEM leaders and advisors may improve team gender balance, and improve the overall quality of iGEM science.

  • If you want to know the details of the study, you can find it here . You can also find an infographics of the main resuts here.

    Want to make the study better ?

    One of the key points in starting to get rid of gender bias in iGEM is to raise awareness. One way to raise awareness is to improve our knowledge about gender in iGEM. It only takes two minute and will help a lot, please fill this form !

    Tips to have a more gender balanced team

    You are convinced that a more gender balanced team will do better but have no idea how to improve the mixity in your team? Here are a few tips. The sentences are written for teams with few men, but of course, if it is the other way around just replace the word women by men.

  • Take time to speak alone with women who seems interested in iGEM. Sometimes, it is only a question of making people understand that they are competent enough to do iGEM !
  • Motivate women to be advisors : they will serve as role models for students who will see a living proof that they can do iGEM.
  • Avoid a very sexist ambiance : repress sexist jokes, stigmatization or
  • Take time to understand the motivations of each student to be sure that they are met. Sometimes, it is difficult for some people to express their motivations
  • Communicate better : maybe emphasize other sides of iGEM that are not present in the actual communication. iGEM has many sides : gaining experience, work in a team, have fun, compete at an international level, explore social and economic issues around synthetic biology, learn scientific communication, get a chance to go to a scientific conference in the US ...
  • Reach out ! iGEMers don't have to be undergrads studying molecular biology. Communciate about iGEM in other fields, in other circles, from informatics to design, from medicine to physics, diversity will only make the team better.
  • Of course, there is no magic recipe and i can be difficult. One of the most important thing is having people in the team aware of this existing issues and motivate the team to include different people and also for them to motivate their friends.

    Want to get involved ?

    iGEM seeks to encourage leadership and scientific excellence in both men and women. The iGEM community can be an example to scientists everywhere of positive gender relations and collegial warmth regardless of gender. Other actions are to come. You want to get involved ? Send your ideas, remarks or else to ...

    Retrieved from ""