The Steering Committee for Nuclear Energy agreed to a policy framework for improving gender balance in the nuclear energy industry during its bi-annual meeting in Paris in October.
During the meeting, Nuclear Energy Agency Director-General William D. Magwood, IV and NEA Gender Balance Task Group Chair Dr Fiona Rayment highlighted the progress of the Task Group in developing strategies to attract more women into science and engineering fields relevant to the nuclear sector and support their career development — an increasing priority for many NEA member countries.
Dr Rayment outlined the Task Group’s proposed policy framework to member countries in a presentation to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee approved the principles within the framework and authorised discussions with the OECD to explore paths toward their formal adoption.
Director-General Magwood underlined the importance of this initiative during his opening keynote at the International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century in Washington D.C.
“When it comes to human capacity, one issue on which we all have to come together is to make sure that women, in all countries, and in all parts of the sector, have an equal opportunity to rise to leadership positions within the nuclear energy sector,” said Director-General Magwood.
“We will work toward the formal adoption of these policies by our member countries in the coming months. I think it is one of the most important things that we have done in many years,” he added.
The NEA recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Women in Nuclear (WiN) Global during the Task Group’s meeting in September to strengthen further the common objective of both to improve gender balance in the nuclear sector.