July 22, 2013, by Graham Kendall
UNMC WinSET Official Launch and Live Debate on 3 July 2013
The launching of UNMC WinSET group was officiated on 3 July 2013 in UNMC Campus. The event started with a keynote speech by our Chairperson Ir Dr Chong Mei Fong, followed by an opening address and ceremony by the Provost & CEO Professor Christine Ennew.
WinSET (short for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology) is a group that aims to support gender diversity within the academic environment, particularly in the disciplines of science, engineering and technology. This will ultimately lead to the full attainment of their potentials through the shaping of policies, practices and culture of the University.
There were over thirty members from different departments under the Faculty of Engineering and others from Arts & Social Science who had showed interest and sign up as committee members on that day. The response was a huge success especially among male staff. As the committee is still at its infancy level, it aims to recruit more members for it to grow stronger and to move forward in the future.
Another highlight of the day after the launching of UNMC WinSET, was a live debate broadcasted from the UK campus. Although it was the third annual WinSET event for the UK campus, it was the first of its kind for UNMC; being streamed live to over 100 delegates across the two campuses. It was a lively discussion as delegates were able to raise questions and propose suggestions to the topic, while UNMC WinSET group was able to tweet their questions and opinions in response to the various issues raised. The debate motion was:
“This house supports the motion that academia does not provide equal opportunities for females and males to obtain Professorial posts in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) subjects”.
The event opening speech was given by the Vice Chancellor, Professor David Greenaway. Then Dr Sean McWhinnie then gave a speech on the debate background and followed by a keynote address by Professor Sarah Sharples (Professor of Human Factors, Faculty of Engineering). The debate was chaired by Professor Greg Currie from the School of Philosophy. Speaking in favour of the motion were Dr June McCombie, MBE (School of Chemistry) and Professor John Britton CBE (School of Clinical Sciences). Speaking against the motion were Professor Liz Sockett (School of Biology) and Professor Nigel Brown (Emeritus Professor of Molecular Microbiologhy, University of Edinburgh).
At the debate’s closing, the Secretary, Dr Lau Phei Li, on behalf of the committee, thanked everyone for their participation in supporting the event. The immediate future targets for the UNMC WinSET group include: recruitment of more members, setting up a webpage, and to submit for the ATHENA SWAN application. For more information of our group and more photos of the launching ceremony, do visit our Facebook link at: https://www.facebook.com/UNMCWinset