Janet Hering, a National Academy of Engineering Member and the retired director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, will discuss a comparative U.S. and European perspective on the advancement of women in STEM academics.
Special Seminar — Advancement of Women in STEM Academics: A Comparative U.S.-European Perspective
Monday, Jan. 30, 2023
4 p.m. MST
Biodesign Institute (BDB) Auditorium B105, Tempe campus [map]
In Janet Hering’s nearly three decades as a professor, she spent roughly half her time in the U.S. (in California) and half in Switzerland. When she moved to Switzerland in 2007, she says it was her impression that she had stepped back in time. In terms of women’s positioning in academia, it seemed to her that Switzerland was far behind the U.S. Although her personal impression has persisted, it is not entirely supported by the statistics. She have also noted a puzzling disconnect between policies related to parental leave and accessibility of childcare – both of which are generally far better in Europe than in the U.S. – and women’s advancement in academia. With this presentation, she takes a broad view of this question, considering the steps being taken in Europe to promote the advancement of women in academia, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and further challenges related to the training of early career researchers.
About the speaker
At the end of 2022, Janet Hering retired as director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science & Technology, or EAWAG, and professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, or ETHZ), and Lausanne, or EPFL. Prior to moving to Switzerland in 2007, Hering was a faculty member at Caltech and UCLA. She is a former associate editor of Environmental Science & Technology and a former member of the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science. She is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and Academia Europaea. Over her career, Hering’s research interests have included the biogeochemical cycling of trace elements in natural waters, treatment technologies for the removal of inorganic contaminants from drinking water, and knowledge exchange at the interface of science with policy and practice. She has also been very engaged in promoting diversity in academia, particularly in supporting women in academic leadership. She received a Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering Award from the IUPAC in 2015. Prof. Hering was the founding Vice Chair of the ETH Women Professors Forum, serving as Vice Chair from 2012 to 2016 and Chair from 2016 to 2020.