Report 6th IAHR Coffee Chat: Together We Are IAHR

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The 6th IAHR coffee chat for young professionals was the first one that took place in person during the 40th IAHR World Congress in Vienna on Monday 21 August 21 2023. The event was organized by Isabella Schalko from ETH Zurich and the IAHR task force on strengthening diversity and gender equity.

The general idea of the coffee chat is to bring together young professionals with established engineers and researchers to discuss career-related topics with a special focus on women

This coffee chat was a brainstorming session and discussion on how to make IAHR more inclusive, while enjoying a piece of Viennese Sachertorte (kindly provided by the LOC – thank you!). The panelists included several representatives from the IAHR task force on strengthening diversity and gender inclusion, namely Amparo López, María Gabriela Castrellón, Ioana Popescu, Damien Violeau, and Silke Wieprecht.

The event started with a brief summary of the previous coffee chats and was followed by the introduction of the questions. They included: 

  • “Why are you part of IAHR?”

  • “What future events should the Task Force on Strengthening Diversity and Gender Equity organize?”

  • “What events could be added during an IAHR congress?”

  • “Which further steps are needed to make IAHR more inclusive?”

  • “Do you feel part of the IAHR community or what can be improved?”

Around 100 participants then grabbed a piece of Sachertorte, put their answers on post-it’s across the room, and started smaller group discussions about IAHR. At the end, the answers were summarized by the panelists in front of all attendees. 


Here is a summary of the inputs from the participants: 

  • Make events more inclusive for low-income countries by having it in hybrid mode

  • Organize local events to meet in person in your region/country

  • Create a calendar mailing list about inclusive events organized by IAHR

  • Host online meetings with impulse talks on various topics

  • Add active events during conferences, such as walks

  • Have a scientific “speed-dating” event to meet colleagues during a conference

  • Make sure young people, women, and other minorities are well represented as keynote speakers or session chairs

  • Consider people with disabilities when organizing an event

  • Would you like to add your feedback? Please feel free to fill out this survey and add your opinion!

It was a pleasure to host the coffee chat in person and see how many people are interested in making IAHR more inclusive! Stay tuned for the updates on the next coffee chat. If you have any comments or remarks on this series or would like to get involved, please feel free to contact Isabella Schalko at directly!

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