Gender equity group reports on progress made

June 2, 2020, 12:14PMNuclear News

Gender Champions in Nuclear Policy (GCNP), launched in November 2018, has released a report on the progress made during its inaugural year toward its goal of achieving gender equity in the nuclear policy field. According to a May 28 announcement, the group has had “mostly positive results.”



GCNP was founded by Laura Holgate, vice president for materials risk management at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, and Michelle Dover, programs director at the Ploughshares Fund. Starting out with 18 members—known as “gender champions”—the group has since expanded to include more than 50 members in leading roles at 50 organizations around the world. Among other things, the GCNP champions pledge to avoid appearing on single-gender panels whenever possible.

What they’re saying: "This first progress report contains plenty of good news about the champions’ pledges and what they and their institutions have learned in the process of implementing them,” Holgate and Dover state in the report’s introduction. “The report also points to obstacles that nuclear policy organizations continue to face in seeking to achieve gender equity and the substantive benefits that it brings. The existential challenge of nuclear policy in all its dimensions—deterrence, nonproliferation, security, energy, disarmament, and so on—requires our best minds and our most committed participants. Our policy community must be inclusive of diversity of knowledge, perspective, experience, and ways of working if we are to manage these risks and opportunities effectively.”

Key takeaway: GCNP reports that 74 percent of its gender champions were successful in upholding their commitment to avoid speaking on single-gender panels. “This simple act shows that with directed intent, it’s possible to stop the practice of hosting and joining single-gender panels,” the report states, adding that an additional five champions (12 percent), whose work focuses on women’s issues and who may “appropriately appear on all-female panels,” upheld a modified pledge.

Familiar faces: GCNP champions include ANS President Marilyn Kray; Maria Korsnick, president and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute; Ernest Moniz, former secretary of energy; Mark Peters, director of Idaho National Laboratory; and Thom Mason, director of Los Alamos National Laboratory .

The full report, Gender Champions in Nuclear Policy: Impact Report 2019, is available online.

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