What happened at the 2022 Space4Women Expert Meeting
Space4Women Expert Meeting Participants at KARI
After 3 exciting days of presentations, discussions, and networking, the 2022 Space4Women Expert Meeting concluded on 19 August.
Over 70 experts from 30 countries gathered in Daejeon, Republic of Korea, to discuss topics related to “access and participation of women and girls in the space sector”.
This year, the meeting was jointly organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the Ministry of Science and ICT of the Republic of Korea (MSIT), the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI), with the support of the City of Daejeon.
Throughout the 3-day event, participants had the opportunity to engage in presentations, discussions and networking, whose aim was to promote gender equality and women empowerment in the space sector, in accordance with SDG 4, Quality Education, and SDG 5, Gender Equality.
Experts and advocates shared their experiences and insights on the status quo and efforts to advance gender equality in the space sector. Participants were divided into 4 working groups according to the topic of discussion: 1) Train-the-trainers; 2) Women space entrepreneurs; 3) Measuring the participation of women in the space workforce; 4) Analysis and impact of gender empowerment activities. The discussion of the topic was then structured in 3 sessions. The first session aimed at understanding the status quo of the topic; the second session focused on analysing the gaps and challenges; and the third session focused on actions to fill in the gaps. By the end of the event, participants identified a series of recommendations to ensure that women and girls have an equal and active role in the space sector.
Working Group Session
In addition, several distinguished speakers were present throughout the event. Among others, remarks were given by Sang-Ryool Lee, President of KARI; Hyun-Joon Kwon, Director of the Ministry of Science and ICT; Joon Lee, Executive Director of Strategy and Planning, KARI; and Natercia Rodrigues, Chief of Office of the Director at UNOOSA.
The event also included special sessions, which saw, among others, the participation of Soyeon Yi, the first and only Korean astronaut, who shared her experience and challenges to become a woman astronaut. Maja Dukcic, Director General of Policy at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced that CSA will host the next Space4Women meeting in 2023.
Soyeon Yi, Korean Astronaut
Thanks to our Korean hosts, participants were also given the chance to attend a few side events. They engaged in a mentoring session with local students, and participated in a technical tour of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, followed by a reception at the famous Daejeon's Hanbit Tower.
Overall, the event was an incredible opportunity for experts and advocates to share their expertise, experiences, and passion for gender equality. The enthusiasm and commitment of the participants made the Expert Meeting a successful and inspiring event, with follow-up actions and recommendations to be implemented.
More details about the outcomes of the discussions are available in this report.
List of speakers and presentations
Jennifer Breslin, Jan Millsapps, Rakhi Rajini, Jen Blank, Futuristas and Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, "Model Mars: A Platform for Exploring Space, Society, & Sustainability"
Omowumi O. Alabi, Technical Deputy Director/Head of Space Applications (RS/GIS), African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in English (ARCSSTE-E), "ARCSSTE-E's Robatics Education Program: Using Robotics to make STEM Education Inspiring to Nigerian School Children"
Shimrit Maman, Senior Scientist and Director for the Earth and Planetary Image Facility, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, “Bridging the Gap: Utilising Space to Make Space”
2) Women space entrepreneurs
Abbie Hutty, Lead System Engineer, Ispace Europe S.A., "Old Space and New: Lessons on the Attraction, Development and Retention of Female Talent"
Ana Cristina Galhego Rosa, Founder & CEO, DIPTERON UG, "How to Set up a Space Company: Personal Experience, Insights, and Recommendations"
Norilmi Amilia Ismail, CEO, Spacein, "Challenges in Running a Space Business in Malaysia: From the Perspective of Women's Founder"
3) Measuring the participation of women in the space workforce
Lauryn Lee Hallet, Senior Fellow of the Cybersecurity, Space & EDT Program, Centre for Youth and International Studies (CYIS), "Measuring the Participation of Women in the Space Sector: Painting the full picture"
Claire Jolly, Head, OECD Space Forum, "Measuring Women's Participation in the Space Sector: An OECD Perspective"
Vera Pinto, DG DEFIS Equality Coordinator, European Commission, "Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Survey for European Defence, Aeronautics and Space Sectors"
Jung Sun Kim, President, International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists (INWES), "Measuring Gender Barrier Perception"
4) Analysis and impact of gender empowerment activities
Naoko Sugita, Advisor to the Director, Earth Observation Research Center, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), "JAXA's Gender Empowerment Activities"
Alexandra Jercaianu, Space Generation Advisory Council, “Measuring the impact of gender empowerment activities in the space sector - the example of the Our Giant Leap initiative of SGAC”
5) Side Events/Special Sessions
Natercia Rodrigues, Chief, Office of the Director, UNOOSA, "Role of UN in Space Sector"
Adriana C. Thomé, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Brazil, "Outcomes - UN/Brazil/UAE Space for Women Expert Meeting: Initiatives, challenges and opportunities for women in space"
Jennifer Breslin, Executive Director, Futuristas and Model Mars, "Gendered Innovations: Taking a Gender Lens in Space Research, Development and Applications"
Jung Sun Kim, President, International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists (INWES), “What women’s networks can do to close the gender gap”
The Expert Meeting was made possible thanks to the Republic of Korea.
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PS: The third edition of the Mentorship Programme will be launched in October! Stay tuned!