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Institutional Initiatives

Many of the larger mathematical research institutes, and a number of different universities, have set up programs of many different kinds to help try to address the issues facing women in mathematics. We have listed those we know about here.

American Institute of Mathematics (AIM)

Julia Robinson Math Festivals

Julia Robinson Mathematics Festivals inspire students to explore the richness and beauty of mathematics through activities that encourage collaborative, creative problem-solving.

Run by the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM), the program’s vision is to inspire a life-long curiosity for mathematics by instilling a genuine interest in creative problem-solving from an early age. The Julia Robinson Mathematics Festivals allow young people to develop their talent for mathematics by providing problems, puzzles, and activities that are intriguing and accessible.

Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) and the BHP Billiton Foundation

Choose Maths

Launched in 2015, this is a five-year national program that will turn around public perception of mathematics and statistics as a career choice for girls and young women. The BHP Billiton Foundation has contributed AUD $22 million toward the partnership, which will enable AMSI Schools to expand its outreach capacity across Australia over the next five years. The program will contribute to the health of the mathematics pipeline in Australia from school through university and out to industry and the workplace by: providing mathematics-ready teacher professional development in 120 schools across Australia and resources for every school in the country; developing a national mathematical sciences careers awareness campaign; establishing an "inspiring women in mathematics network"; and holding annual BHP Billiton awards for excellence in the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Banff International Research Station (BIRS)

Diversity in the Mathematics and Scientific Community I and II

Two workshops were held at the Banff International Research Station (BIRS), in 2006 and 2007, to work toward increasing the presence of women in mathematics in North America. This website, created by participants Petra Bonfert-Taylor and Edward Taylor, contains reports and materials which emerged from these workshops. A detailed report and call to action can be found here:

Women Mathematicians in the Academic Ranks: A Call to Action

Harvard Kennedy School Gender Action Portal

With its Gender Action Portal, the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School provides scientific evidence—based on experiments in the field and in the laboratory—on the impact of policies, strategies and organizational practices aimed at closing gender gaps in the areas of economic opportunity, politics, health, and education to help translate research into action and take successful interventions to scale.

Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

Program on Women and Mathematics

Since 1994 with the support of the National Science Foundation, the Institute, together with Princeton University, has hosted an intensive 11-day mentoring program for undergraduate and graduate women in mathematics.

The program brings together research mathematicians with undergraduate and graduate students on the campus of the Institute for Advanced Study and is designed to address issues of gender imbalance in mathematics. Activities include lectures and seminars on a focused mathematical topic, mentoring, discussions on peer relations, an introduction to career opportunities and a women in sciences seminar.

International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy

ICTP supports programs for mathematicians and physicists, in particular aimed at participants from developing countries. The ICTP for Women section of their website is devoted to activities related to Women in Science, largely in physics, but with some mathematics included.

Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge, UK

Supporting Women Mathematical Scientists

From the Institute’s website: “The Isaac Newton Institute is committed to equal opportunities at all levels of our activities. This commitment is founded not just on principles of fairness and justice but on the recognition that, as a world-class research institute, we must utilise the whole spectrum of mathematical research talent. Moreover, as an international visitor research institute in the mathematical sciences, we have a pivotal role in developing the research careers of women mathematical scientists, thereby helping to redress the historical gender imbalance.

The Institute’s Gender Balance Action Plan can be found here.

London Mathematical Society

The London Mathematical Society strongly supports advancing women’s careers in university mathematics departments. The Society’s Women in Mathematics Committee has developed a Good Practice Scheme with the aim of supporting mathematics departments interested in embedding equal opportunities for women within their working practices. The Scheme provides specific support for departments working towards Athena SWAN Award status.

Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leipzig

The Nonlinear algebra group at MPI Leipzig works on fundamental problems in algebra, geometry and combinatorics that are relevant for nonlinear models. Members report an especially inclusive atmosphere, supporting scholars from many different backgrounds contributing their perspectives.

MSRI (Mathematical Sciences Research Institute) Berkeley, Ca, USA

A short workshop called `Connections for women: XXX’ is run immediately prior to all of the MSRI programs.

Mathematical Sciences Institute Diversity Committee

Mathematical sciences institutes in North America, including the NSF Mathematical Sciences Institutes, have formed a committee with the goal of joining together in their efforts to support the participation of underrepresented groups in the mathematical sciences, including women, underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities.

British Royal Society Diversity Program

The British Royal Society (an academy for all sciences) has an extensive diversity program with a great deal of interesting material including a collection of 150 stories about how parent and carer scientists combined their careers with family, and a section on understanding unconscious bias, and some Fellowships especially targeted at women.

Tohoku University

Tohoku University has a very active  Office for woman scientists  (English), including the Tohoku Leading Women’s Jump up project and the Tohoku Leading Women’s Hurdling project.

University of Michigan

The ADVANCE Program  of the University of Michigan is a project promoting institutional transformation with respect to women faculty in science and engineering fields. The program aims to improve the campus environment in the areas of Recruitment, retention, climate and leadership.

University of Oregon Women in Math Project

The Women in Math Project, directed by Marie Vitulli in the Department of Mathematics  in the University of Oregon, reports on various gender studies in mathematics and other sciences. It includes 1997 and 2010 analyses for gender differences in employment for new Ph.D.s in mathematics. Here is the project’s bibliography.

WISE (Women in Science and Engineering)

There are WISE initiatives on many campuses in the USA for example BrownMichiganStony BrookUSC.

WISE is also a national initiative in the UK.