UMaine News

Gill to speak at science conference in Kuwait celebrating female leadership

Jacquelyn Gill is an invited speaker at the 10th International Conference on Women Leaders in Science, Technology, and Engineering in Kuwait.

At the Oct. 23–25 conference, female role models will be celebrated and success stories and strategies will be shared to inspire the next generation of women.

Recognizing the value of a STEM education in virtually any sector — policymaking, academia, business and industry — also is a main objective.

Gill, a paleoecologist and biogeographer with the Climate Change Institute and the School of Biology and Ecology, will participate in an Early Career Innovation session. She will address challenges and strategies that early-career women face in STEM.

“I want to go beyond the usual diagnose-the-problems stage and talk about real solutions, and highlight success stories,” she says.

Gill also looks forward to meeting and learning from women in Gulf Cooperation Council nations, who will be the focus of the conference.

“The meeting theme is ‘Science empowers women,’ which is something I really believe in, but we also face challenges in recruiting and retaining women in STEM, especially underrepresented minority women, and also as we advance up the academic ladder,” she says.

“Meetings like this one are important opportunities for us to learn from one another, to find out what works, where the gaps are, and how we can do better. I’m honored to be included as an inspirational speaker, and look forward to the opportunity to hear more about the experiences of STEM women in the Middle East.”

The Early Career Innovation session also will include Emily Levesque, assistant professor of astronomy at the University of Washington; Noora Fetais, director of the KINDI Center for Computing Research at Qatar University; and Venice Gouda, emeritus research professor at the National Research Centre in Egypt.

The conference is a collaboration of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the U.S. Department of State.