Who are we?
Founded in 2000, Femmes & Sciences is an association which currently has more than 350 individual members, women and men, mostly scientists from all disciplines, who share its objectives. It is also supported by 21 organisation members which enable it to deploy its actions throughout the country:
promoting women scientists
encouraging young people, especially girls, to embark on scientific careers
building up a network of mutual aid.
It is targeting audiences such as the educational world (teachers, pupils, students), the higher education and research community, heads of scientific institutions, women's networks, companies and the general public.
Strong societal issues related to improved gender equality, the careers of women scientists and their visibility (academia, companies, start-ups) underpin all of the association's actions.
The association also aims at raising awareness among citizens about the unequal treatment between women and men and the stereotypes that are still widely held.
Finally, it acts as a network of mutual aid and support to encourage women in their careers, develop connections between its members and enable skills, expertise and experience sharing.
The association is a member of the European Platform of Women Scientists (EPWS). It benefits from a national accreditation from the Ministère de l’Éducation nationale, de la Jeunesse et des Sports (Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports) as an association complementary to public education. It received the gold trophy for gender equality from Association pour l’emploi des cadres (APEC, Association for the Employment of Professional and Managerial Staff) in 2014, in the category Public, Parapublic Bodies and Associations.
Since its inception, the association has been supported by institutions, associations or entities with which it shares objectives and commitment. As of January 1st 2020, there are 21 of them.
These organisations enable Femmes & Sciences to act throughout the territory through meetings, particularly in schools, and events, but also to hold an annual conference and to publish resources.
AFNEUS (science students)
Société Française de Physique (SFP)
Conférence des Grandes Ecoles (CGE)
Organismes, universités, grandes écoles
BRGM (the French geological survey)
CNRS | Délégation régionale Occitanie Ouest
Ecole Centrale Supélec
Ecole normale supérieure de Lyon
Ecole normale supérieure de Paris-Saclay
Ecole normale supérieure de Rennes
Grenoble Institut national polytechnique
Inserm | Délégation régionale Occitanie Méditerranée
Institut de physique du Globe de Paris
IUT de Nice Côte d’Azur
Université Toulouse 3
Paléontologie évolution paléoécosystèmes paléoprimatologie (CNRS/Université de Poitiers)
Key figures 2019
350 individual members
24 organisation members
5000 secondary school, 3200 high school and 900 university students have met with Femmes & Sciences members
4175 people met in career fairs and at the Fête de la science (national science festival)
11 international actions
1 exhibition realised in 3 regions
100 PhD students benefited from mentoring
Over 350 members as of September 1st, 2020
Members come from different backgrounds: higher education and research, secondary education, companies, institutions, ministries... They are researchers, assistant professors, engineers, secondary school teachers, members of partner associations.
Of different ages, professions and disciplines, they enable the association to respond to the many requests from the school community, particularly in terms of classroom work and teachers training.
This diversity is a specificity and a richness of the association.
A Board of Administration with 15 members and 15 substitutes, with a 3-year mandate, renewable once.
The current President of Femmes & Sciences is Nadine Halberstadt, physicist, research director at the CNRS in Toulouse.
In 2000, the association was founded following the publication of several works and reports on the status of women in science. These revealed a significant deficit of women in science, particularly in positions with high responsibility.
The femmes & mathématiques association had undertaken studies on these issues already from 1987. And the Société Française de Physique (SFP, French Society of Physics) devoted a session to this issue in its annual congress in 1995. These works were then supported by reports by Huguette Delavault, which had a significant impact. The latter dealt with the place of girls in scientific elite “preparatory classes” in 1997 and in the Grandes Ecoles Scientifiques in 1998. These were pioneering works in particular in their systematic use of sex-disaggregated statistics, which were very difficult to obtain at the time.
At the same time, a first colloquium on Women and Science was held in 1998 at the European Commission following the initiative of Edith Cresson, then Commissioner for Research. In February 2000, Jean-Louis Aupetit, head of communication, organised the first French colloquium on Women in Science at CNRS in Gif-sur-Yvette. In October of the same year, the colloquium "Sciences and techniques: why girls?", under the chairmanship of Research Minister Roger-Gérard Schwartzenberg, brought together 400 participants in Paris.
The founders of the association are:
Huguette Delavault, university professor, former scientific deputy director of the Ecole normale supérieure de Fontenay-aux Roses, former president of the Association Française des Femmes Diplômées des Universités (AFFDU), administrator of "Action pour la Parité - Demain la Parité";
Françoise Cyrot-Lackmann, research director at CNRS;
Claudine Hermann, professor at the Ecole Polytechnique, French representative in the group of national civil servants "Women and Science" at the European Union Directorate-General for Research and Innovation;
Françoise Gaspard, lecturer at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, French representative at the UN Commission on Women, elected to the CEDAW Commission (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women);
Colette Kreder, engineer, former director of the Ecole Polytechnique Féminine, founding member of the "Demain la Parité" network;
The association Women and Mathematics represented by its president, Christine Charretton, lecturer at Université Lyon-1.