WIMSIG NEWSLETTER – September 2015

Supporting Working Parents

An Australian Government website for supporting working parents has some resources to help employers and employees navigate legal requirements in regards to parents and the workplace. A toolkit to combat pregnancy discrimination was launched on the 30th of July.

Equilibrium Challenge

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has launched the Equilibrium Challenge. The website follows 5 men as they attempt to find flexible working arrangements that allow for the other areas of their life (children, extended family, elite sport). WGEA supports flexible workplaces as a key enabler of gender equity, and the Equilibrium Challenge aims to reduce the stigma of workplace flexibility as a women’s issue.


Women in Mathematics Dinner at the 2015 AustMS Meeting

The 59th Annual Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society will be held at Flinders University from September 28 to October 1, 2015.

There will again be a Women in Mathematics Dinner.

  • Time: 6:30pm, Sunday 27 September 2015
  • Place: Tonsley Campus, Flinders University

Due to a technical issue with the conference registration process, some registrations for the Women in Maths Dinner have not been processed. Please check your registration. The venue is not yet at capacity, so there is space to add a few more people.

The dinner is shaping up to be a fabulous event, with special guest the
Hon. Gail Gago, MLC, Minister for Science and Information Economy. We can talk politics with a politician!

Travel instructions and a map can be found on the conference website.

WIMSIG General Meeting

At the 2015 AustMS meeting in Adelaide, WIMSIG will have a general business meeting before the Women in Mathematics Dinner.

  • Time: 5:30-6:30pm, Sunday 27 September
  • Venue: A room adjacent to the Women in Maths Dinner venue

Follow the instructions to the Women in Maths Dinner on the conference website.

This meeting is a chance for members and friends of WIMSIG to meet the Executive Committee and discuss things of interest.

The Agenda includes the following items.

  • Meet the Executive Committee
  • Report on the Praeger and Street Awards
  • Student Women in Maths group
  • Mentoring Scheme

Please submit any further agenda items to the WIMSIG Secretary, Joanne Hall.


Anne Penfold Street and Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards

The AustMS WIMSIG Cheryl E. Praeger Travel Awards are designed to provide full or partial support for Australian female mathematicians to attend conferences or to visit collaborators.

The AustMS WIMSIG Anne Penfold Street Awards provide additional financial support to Australian mathematicians for their caring responsibilities, while they travel for conferences or research visits to collaborators.

Applications for the next round of Awards are due by October 1.

Each Awardee to date has written a short report on their adventures. Here are some snippets:

  • “I am extremely appreciative for this support in the dual challenge of being a mathematician and a parent.”
  • “It was great to have the opportunity to connect with new and old friends within the Australasian applied mathematics community, especially after taking a recent break for maternity leave.”

The Street and Praeger Awards are available to support people who would benefit from extra funding. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to apply if you think they may be eligible.

Regional & Institutional Funding

There seems to be a bit of momentum surrounding funding for women in science. In August 2015 the Queensland state government and QUT both announced schemes with funding for women and carers in scientific institutions. There are many other schemes that are specific to an institution or specific to a geographical region.

WIMSIG would like to make a directory of such schemes. Many of these schemes do not have public-facing webpages, so we need your help. If your institution has a funding scheme or development program aimed at promoting the research careers of women, then please tell us. We would also like to know about any government or philanthropic organisations with funds to support women in Science. Send details to the WIMSIG Secretary, Joanne Hall.

At this time, WIMSIG is aware of the following region-specific program:

and the following institution-specific programs:

  • Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
    • Women in Research Grant Scheme
    • Carer Costs Support Scheme for Academic Staff
  • The University of Queensland (UQ)
    • Advancing Women Researchers Grants
  • The University of New South Wales (UNSW)
    • Vice Chancellor’s Childcare Support Fund
  • Australian National University (ANU)
    • Carers’ Career Development Assistance Fund


National Centre for Women & Information Technology

The USA-based National Centre for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is an organisation with similar goals to WIMSIG. The NCWIT website contains lots of interesting information. The NCWIT blog is a particularly good read.

Striking parallels between mathematics and software engineering

How do we explain mathematics to non-mathematicians? This article explains linear algebra as a human-designed system of tools.

Have you read an interesting article? Have some news? Have an opportunity available?

Please send items to the WIMSIG Secretary, Joanne Hall.