BONE Portal
BONE Portal



Gender Issues


The under-representation of women in science, engineering and technology is an issue both for the research community and the individuals. This is true also for the area of photonic communication technologies. This NoE recognises that increasing women participation in NoE activities can work against this trend, and can ultimately lead to an improvement in research and education culture, policy and practice. To reach this goal, the consortium aspires to a gender-balanced participation in the network activities and the decision making within the project. The proposed activities will seek to broaden the participation of women in all fields of basic research and education within the scope by actively supporting female participation.
It is true that maximising diversity enhances the quality of research by:

  • highlighting different priorities,
  • asking different questions and
  • bringing more varied perspectives on the direction of the research.

We also aim at institutional and systemic change in recruiting and retaining diverse research populations.
BONE is expected to contribute in the promotion of gender equality in the field of the project. In particular, the project devised a gender action plan with a number of dedicated training and mentoring activities. The action plan is articulated in the following actions.

  • Encouraging women’s participation in the network both as researchers and within the BONE management bodies. The presence of women in BONE is already good in comparison with other projects in the same technical area, but particular attention will be given to its increase and to the women active involvement. Some of the potential VD chairpersons and WP leaders were identified among the feminine participants to BONE. To make effective the women involvement in the decision-making boards of the NoE, at least two WorkPackages will be lead by women.

  • Preparing and distributing a questionnaire among the NoE participants with the aim to highlight the perception of gender issues in the field. The questionnaire’s results will be disseminated within the network and beyond in order to arise the awareness on the gender issues and, in meantime, to identify eventual actions to be carried out.

  • Strengthening collaboration ties to the prominent female scientists in optical networking. Collaboration is the most critical to the project. BONE participants will have responsibility for developing and helping in the gender-awareness mission beyond their institutional agenda. The project participants will meet on a regular basis to foster the collaboration and communication, and they are responsible for taking what they learn back to their own institutions.

  • Creating a network of women researchers within the NoE. A periodic meeting involving BONE women will be organized. This will mainly provide a mentoring environment for young female researchers through sharing experience and information with more established researchers in the field. In addition, links with other international networks of women scientists, such as WES, WIT, AWiSE and WiTEC, will be promoted.

  • Organizing visiting professorships and visiting research collaborations with special emphasis on gender awareness.

  • Promoting women speakers to represent the NoE in major conferences in Europe and overseas.

  • Allocating dedicating bursaries to women for attending workshops and visiting partner laboratories.

  • Organising seminars and career advising events in associated universities aiming to trigger the interest of female students in photonics. This will offer them more information about photonic systems and technologies and will encourage them to think about a career in this field.

  • Promoting the participation of NoE women to technical committees of major international conferences.




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BONE Calendar



BONE is an active member of the FP7 Cluster "Converged and Optical networks"



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