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Gender Equality Mainstreaming Digest – January 2020 Issue

Here are the highlights of this month’s Gender Equality Mainstreaming Digest! Click HERE for the full version.

Rural Winter Scene. Photo courtesy of D. Ceplis.


Opportunities and Upcoming Events:

Call for Abstracts: Envisioning the Future of Extension

A mix of presenters and participants is sought, to enable sharing of both: (1) innovative approaches in the context of the future of extension that have been put into practice in field contexts, and (2) research and/or impact evaluations of extension programming, policies, curricula, trainings, and tools in the context of the future of extension. Donors, researchers, practitioners, government/policymakers, and partners from country level working in extension are encouraged to submit abstracts.  The conference will be held in Washington DC on March 4-5, 2020.

Submit abstract by December 31st, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST.


Mark your calendars for AWC WEST 2020, at the Hyatt Regency Calgary on March 23 & 24, 2020.

  • Connect with like-minded women passionate about agriculture and food.
  • Grow from informative, inspiring and motivating discussions with influential leaders.
  • Learn the tools and techniques that will empower you to live to your full potential.
This Month’s News:

One year after Nobel physics win, Canada’s Donna Strickland calls for science literacy

For Dr. Strickland, a University of Waterloo professor who last year became only the third woman (and the only one currently living) to win the Nobel Prize in Physics, it was the beginning of a long career of quietly changing peoples’ perceptions about the role and capabilities of women in science and engineering. She now hopes to extend that impact to the broader goal of improving science literacy in Canada.

Dr. Strickland’s achievement, together with that of Frances Arnold, a U.S. researcher who one day later became the fifth woman to receive the chemistry Nobel, drew widespread attention to how strikingly under-represented female researchers have been across the 118-year history of the most prestigious award in science.

Women’s science research isn’t called ‘novel’ or ‘excellent’ as often as men’s

Is that scientific research “excellent,” “novel,” “promising” or “unique”? It’s more likely to be described that way if the study were led by men, according to a new study. And that could be holding women back in science — papers using positive adjectives like those are cited more often by other scientists, implying more scientific influence and success, reports the study published this week in the journal BMJ.

The analysis, led by German social scientist Marc Lerchenmueller, looked for a set of 25 words considered “positive framing” in more than 100,000 clinical research articles and six million general life sciences articles published between 2002 and 2017.

The researchers found that articles that made use of the glowing terms were cited 9.4 per cent more by other scientists, and in high-impact journals, the use of those words was linked to 13 per cent more citations.

Inequality Towards Female Agri-Food Tech Founders Is Pervasive, Says Study

Money Where Our Mouths Are (MWOMA), which is organized by AgFunder, The New Food Economy, and Karen Karp & Partners (KK&P), has published the first global dataset showing the funding inequalities for women in agri-food tech. A mere 7 percent of deals and 3 percent of investment dollars went toward female-founded start-ups between 2015–2018, according to their findings.

According to AgFunder, the agri-food tech sector reached an all-time high in 2018 with US$16.9 billion invested and a 43 percent year-over-year increase. But MWOMA’s study reveals that only 16 percent of closed deals went to start-ups with one female founder and just 7 percent to all-female founding teams. Structural bias in the finance sector, says Karp, favors the male counterparts. “A number of investors tell us they are just more comfortable with men,” Karp tells Food Tank.

Nevertheless, female-founded start-ups ultimately deliver higher revenue and grow faster, according to a study by the Boston Consulting Group and Forbes, respectively.

Thirty Years Later

To commemorate the tragic event of December 6, 1989 in Montreal, and to promote the outstanding work of female engineers across Canada, Engineering Deans Canada invited each of the Canadian engineering schools that offered an accredited engineering program in 1989 to put forward the story of an engineering alumna who graduated within three years of the massacre (1986-1992), and whose career exemplifies the value that women bring to the engineering profession and to society.

See the profiles of 30 women engineers who graduated within three years of the massacre. While the women profiled here were deeply touched by the event, they moved forward to advance their profession, used this experience to build strength, and have inspired change through their actions.

The Gender Pay Gap at The Top of Corporate Canada

For the first time, this report from January 2019 examines differences in pay between male and female corporate executives. It reveals a significant gender pay gap in Canada’s C-suite, undercutting the “merit” argument often used to justify extreme levels of executive compensation. Among top executives, women make $0.68 for every dollar their male colleagues make, amounting to $950,000 less in pay a year. The ratio is $0.83 among all fulltime workers.

Mandate letter from Prime Minister to ag minister Bibeau

The text of the mandate letter for federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau is available. The Prime Minister’s office released the mandate letters for all ministers December 13.

One aspect of her work is to lead work across government to move forward with the new Food Policy for Canada introduced in Budget 2019. This policy has four areas of near-term action, including:

  • Help Canadian communities to access healthy food;
  • Make Canadian food the top choice at home and abroad;
  • Support food security in northern and indigenous communities; and
  • Reduce food waste.

A former Belleville, Ont. mayor will now play a backup role to the federal agriculture minister in the House of Commons. Neil Ellis, the Liberal MP for the Bay of Quinte constituency in central Ontario since 2015, was named Thursday as parliamentary secretary for the minister of agriculture and agri-food, Marie-Claude Bibeau.

Reports Publications and Resources:

Women in Food & Agriculture 2019 Survey Results

As part of the 2019 Women in Food & Agriculture campaign, AgriBriefing partnered with Alltech to conduct a first of its kind industry survey. We had a fantastic response to our very first survey with over 2500 respondents from across the supply chain, from every corner of the world. The companies represented in this survey cover the whole industry ranging from farmers (20% of respondents) to employees of large agri-food businesses with more than 3,000 employees (25% of respondents).

Overall, the survey is a positive report that reveals progress. However, only 52% of women indicated they feel well-represented in the industry. Download the free results summary now to find out:

  • The differences in opinions between men and women in agriculture
  • How women perceive their employers and their sector
  • What women in our industry believe are the barriers holding them back

Gender differences in how scientists present the importance of their research: observational study


Objectives: Women remain underrepresented on faculties of medicine and the life sciences more broadly. Whether gender differences in self presentation of clinical research exist and may contribute to this gender gap has been challenging to explore empirically. The objective of this study was to analyze whether men and women differ in how positively they frame their research findings and to analyze whether the positive framing of research is associated with higher downstream citations.

Conclusions: Clinical articles involving a male first or last author were more likely to present research findings positively in titles and abstracts compared with articles in which both the first and last author were women, particularly in the highest impact journals. Positive presentation of research findings was associated with higher downstream citations.

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