IAHR task force on Strengthening Diversity and Gender Equity
The recently created IAHR task force on Strengthening Diversity and Gender Equity seeks to emphasize the consideration of differences between people, ensuring that these variable attributes and characteristics are highly valued in our association. Having a strong diversity of members united in IAHR will enrich the common goals that are achieved when multilingual people, of different ethnicities, ages, gender, educational level, and cultural heritage come together.
Interaction between different people in our events, magazines, and workgroups enhances our ability to work in a diverse environment, with different styles, cultures, and personalities. The objective of our association is to attract and retain talents, professionals, and both young and experienced researchers, finding a common place to share.
In particular, IAHR wants to encourage the participation of women in engineering and a balanced membership is one of its strategic priorities, with the aim of having more women participate in the technical committees, divisions, and boards of the IAHR. Approximately 23 per cent of the members of the IAHR are women. However, its geographical distribution is quite unequal: Latin America is the region with the highest proportion of affiliated women (27 per cent), while women from the Middle East and Africa are the least represented (15 per cent and 11 per cent respectively). In the younger generations, the gender distribution is more balanced (67 per cent are men and 33 per cent are women), but in recent years there has been very little increase in the number of women affiliated. IAHR wants to change this to further strengthen the potential and leadership position of the association.
Bringing diversity to the association is not a trend to follow or a quota that we must meet. Nor is it just a social responsibility to embrace diversity in the international mission that we have. We intuitively know that it is a path we must travel. The benefits of diversity are immense. Diversity improves interactions, associative culture, and talent involvement, and creates new communication opportunities. A proportional representation between genders, regions, ages, and interests within IAHR would be more realistic and would more closely reflect the composition of the engineering community as a whole. Therefore, the IAHR working group on strengthening diversity and gender with a focus on gender equality aims to increase the number of women members from 25 per cent to 33 per cent in the next five years, while increasing the ratio of women to men in divisions and committees.
We are a group of people who work together to achieve scientific and technical goals. And as a group, we do much better when we are diverse and share our talents.
Task force members
University of Stuttgart
Polytechnic University of Valencia
Hasan II University of Cassablanca
IAHR is aware that gender diversity often remains a struggle. This is why IAHR endeavours to identify women leaders, help develop the skills of young women members and recognise their contributions. We invite you, women, to become part of the IAHR community and help increase the visibility and representativity of women engineers!
Interviews with IAHR women
“We currently have about 25 per cent women in the association. So, within the next five years in IAHR, we can and want to reach the number of 30 per cent women that work in the engineering sciences on the whole. But this should also be reflected in the leadership teams…” Gender equity within IAHR is one of the main concerns of Silke Wieprecht, vice-president of IAHR and chair of the task force.
David Ferras, vice-chair of IAHR technical committee on Education and Professional Development, interviews Silke Wieprecht.
Other recent interviews:
Interview with Silke Wieprecht. Focus on gender equity
Interview with Claudia Adduce. Focus on research and early career researchers
Interview with Silvia Meniconi. Focus on hydraulic transients
Interview with Roser Casas-Mulet. Focus on ecohydraulics
Interview with Isabella Schalko. Focus on Women and Girls in Science
Interview with Monica Fossati. Focus on women engineers
Projects and activities
Session A Diverse Approach to Hydraulic and Environmental Research during the 1st IAHR Online Forum. 5 July 2021
Call for pics for a mosaic to be produced on the occasion of the International Day of Women in Engineering. 23 June 2021
Infographic: Women at IAHR on the occasion of the International Women's Day. 8 March 2021
IAHR Women's Voices video series
IAHR Women Coffee Chats
Mosaic "Together we build science, together we are IAHR" on the ocassion of Women in Engineering Day. 23 June 2020
Related IAHR journals and articles
HydroLink is the primary magazine of IAHR. It brings you the latest news in the world of hydro-environment engineering and research and provides a platform for reporting on IAHR activities and gathering news from our members. Hydrolink publishes articles on projects, research, and new methods and tools of interest to the hydro-environment engineering community. A special issue of HydroLink has been published on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of IAHR in September 2020. In this issue, six leading women members share their thoughts on progress towards greater diversity and gender equity within the association and in water issues:
Women in the IAHR leadership team share their thoughts by Silke Wieprecht, Jing Peng, Dalila Loudyi, Amparo López Jiménez, Ioana Popescu and Verónica Minaya. Published in Hydrolink 3/2020
This article, published in issue 2/2017, analysed the gender situation at IAHR in 2017, compared it with similar organizations and analysed the challenges women engineers regularly face.
Gender equity efforts in IAHR by Silke Wieprecht. Published in Hydrolink 2/2017
New section in Hydrolink:
Publication of bios of great women hydraulicians in Hydrolink:
Special issue. Focus on Gender Equity. July 2020
Special issue. Focus on Women and Girls in Science. February 2021
EU Prize for Women Innovators. Deadline 30 June 2021
Women Advancing River Research Seminar Series, by Colorado State University
Webinar #1: Global Women Engineering Leaders Share Their Journeys to Success, by UNESCO and WFEO. 5 March 2021
Webinar #2: Global Women Engineering Leaders Share Their Journesy to Success, by UNESCO and WFEO. 8 March 2021