In 2013, a group of early-career scientists and experts came together at Tel Aviv University for a scenario-building workshop organized by Portia Ltd, a UK non-profit that promotes gender equality in science. Through networking and panel sessions, the women scientists and their role models brainstormed about the opportunities and challenges in their future careers. The women were also encouraged to think creatively in building possible scenarios and future CVs, and shared their ideas with their peers.
The workshop was a part of a Scenario Toolkit for women scientists that Portia has been developing for their Creating Futures in Science program, in collaboration with Tel Aviv University and Fraunhofer and supported by an Elsevier Foundation New Scholars grant.
Rather than using the traditional one-to-one mentoring relationship, the Toolkit uses the participatory method of scenario construction to promote knowledge sharing, peer learning, and collaboration. This method helps science institutions support their early-career researchers, particularly women, in making more informed and effective decisions about professional and personal development focused on career related issues.
The rationale behind the Scenario Toolkit is described in detail in this August 2013 Elsevier Connect article by Dr. Elizabeth Pollitzer, Director of Portia Ltd.
The Elsevier Foundation
The Elsevier Foundation New Scholars program, which funded Portia's Scenario Workshops, supports projects to help early- to mid-career women scientists balance family responsibilities with demanding academic careers and addresses the attrition rate of talented women scientists. Visit elsevierfoundation.org for more information or contact Elsevier Foundation Program Director Ylann Schemm (@YlannSchemm) at firstname.lastname@example.org.