Women and girls in marine sciences | Flanders Marine Institute
 

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

Women and girls in marine sciences

On 11 February we celebrate female scientists on International Day of Women and Girls in Science. To stress the importance of gender equality and women in science, VLIZ puts its female scientists in the picture. The whole year round, we will launch pictures of inspiring women in their working environment at VLIZ and tell the story behind these persons. At the end of 2022, all pictures will be collected in a virtual exhibition.

About the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Over the past decades, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science. Yet women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science. In order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, the United Nations General Assembly declared 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in 2015.

Women in marine science at VLIZ

Katelijne De Vos - Katelijne works as an administrative assistant at VLIZ, with her main task being the follow up of the accounting of the research institute.
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Annelies Tavernier - Annelies started at VLIZ in March 2021 as an employee in the Science Communication department. She provides communication for the LifeWatch project, but is also involved in several of our citizen science initiatives.
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Binke D'Haese - Binke joined VLIZ in 2020, after working for 14 years as a science educator in a secondary art school.
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Karen Rappé - Karen works for VLIZ for some time. First within the Science Communication department, before she made a switch in 2017 to become the coordinator of the VLIZ philanthropy project ‘The Sea as a Good Cause’.
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Julie Muyle - Julie works as a laboratory assistant at VLIZ since the end of 2019. Her tasks and responsibilities are highly varied. Among others, she collects samples and provides lab support within the LifeWatch & SeaBioComp projects.
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Hannelore Theetaert - Marine technician Hannelore has been part of the VLIZ team for 6 years now, supporting the marine chemical laboratory in the broadest sense. None of her working days look the same.
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Nelle Meyers - Almost each summer since 2014, Nelle was one of the jobstudents at VLIZ. In April 2020 she started working as a PhD student on the development of cost-and time-effective methods to detect and identify microplastics in the marine environment.
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Nathalie Keersebilck - Nathalie is an all-round administrative employee at VLIZ, since 16 years. She provides assistance to VLIZ colleagues in many ways, going from project administration to organising events.
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Ann-Katrien Lescrauwaet - Ann-Katrien started her career at VLIZ almost 20 years ago and is currently the director of International Relations. Connecting science with societal domains is one of the challenges she focuses on.
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Sarah Schmidlin - Sarah is working as a PhD student at VLIZ. Through her research on the settlement of oyster larvae, she is eager to contribute to the marine scientific research community.
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Tine Missiaen - Tine started working at VLIZ in 2017 as a scientific researcher and takes the lead over the research team ‘Seascapes Past & Future’.
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Daphne Vrijelinck - Daphne started working at VLIZ three years ago, as an administrative assistant within the General Support division and assists the project leaders with project administration.
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Marie Robberecht - Marie started three years ago as a researcher in the Marine Observation Center of VLIZ. After one year, she made the switch to data manager and scientific assistant at the VLIZ data centre.
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Chilekwa Chisala - As an employee from the very beginning, Chilekwa witnessed the start-up of VLIZ in 1999. Today, she is a permanent fixture as an administrative assistant at the VLIZ library.
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VLIZ' Gender Equality Plan

In terms of the gender gap, the marine sciences significantly outperform all other natural sciences. With a distribution of 48% women and 52% men, VLIZ is not doing badly compared to the national and global level (see infographic below). However, there is still room for improvement. Due to the growing international character of VLIZ and a changing society, there was a need for further professionalization and embedding of the institute's diversity policy. To this end, VLIZ set up a working group in 2021 that will outline a clear and transparent diversity plan. The diversity plan will enable VLIZ to move forward itsambitions with regard to inclusiveness and diversity and to closely monitor and, where necessary, adjust the evolution of diversity figures and indicators. With this dynamic plan, VLIZ also wants to motivate its employees, involve them in daily operations and strive for a better work-life balance. This will not only benefit the effectiveness and efficiency of the work, but also strengthen the creative and innovative objectives of VLIZ.

As a first step in the diversity plan, a Gender Equality Plan was drafted, which can be consulted here.