One of the main tasks of the "Gender Gap in Science project, how to measure it, how to reduce it?”, funded mainly by ICSU/ISC and in which several unions members of ISC participated, among them ICIAM, was the construction of an online database of good practices aiming to reduce the gender gap, especially for girls and young women. Initiatives of this kind exist in many countries, as nowadays everybody is looking for ways to increase the number of girls who want to study scientific subjects and young women who embrace scientific careers. But this database does not aim only to address the gender gap in science, but in all aspects of life. Of course, not all those initiatives are effective, and some of them might be good for some countries and situations, but not for all. This project decided to build a list of initiatives that have been verified as effective in one way or another. The database will be evolving in time, and anybody will be able to propose new examples of good initiatives that will have to be carefully checked and verified before being posted.
The website where selected initiatives can be consulted is hosted by the International Mathematical Union, the union which managed the whole Gender Gap project, and it can be found here. There you can currently find sixty-four initiatives listed, and it is very interesting to browse through the list and see the variety of ideas people have had, or the variety of networks that have been built to encourage and empower women, to make their lives and their jobs more pleasant, to help each other, to share experiences, etc. They have been launched in very different countries and continents and it is really worth browsing through them.
For all of them there is information about the name, the year of origin, the region/country, the discipline, the gender objectives, the target audience and the evidence of effectiveness and the impact. But, more importantly, for each of them further details are given, in particular, a good description of the main objectives and the means put in place to reach them.
If any of you has a good story to tell about such an initiative, or know someone who has one, remember that relevant initiatives can be submitted here: what you have witnessed will be broadly shared, so that people who want to act can get ideas from what has been tried elsewhere by other people.
Consult the website, use it and share its existence with your networks!