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Talent and Career in Research: The Role of Mentoring to Foster Diversity and Inclusion Workshop

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Laila Nadal, and Michela Svaluto Moreolo, Ph.D. Researchers, Centre Tecnològic de Telecommunications de Catalunya


The gender and diversity workshop (Talent and career in research: The role of mentoring to foster diversity and inclusion) organized in the framework of B5G-OPEN EU and UNICO 5G I+D 6G-OPENSEC projects, co-located with the SBMO/IEEE MTT-S international microwave and optoelectronics conference (IMOC) was successfully performed in the Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC) on the 8th of November 2023. The workshop was organized by Laia Nadal and Michela Svauto Moreolo both from CTTC (Spain), Marija Furdek from Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), and Fatima Gunning from Tyndall National Institute (Ireland).

The workshop was organized in the format of invited talks and a panel session featuring speakers from academia and industry at various career stages, providing a broad range of perspectives on talent and careers in research. The list of speakers was: Masab Iqbal (CTTC/CERCA, Spain), Maria Jose Pontes (Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo – Brazil), Vanesa Díaz (LuxQuanta, Spain), and Ben Puttnam (NICT, Japan). The importance and role of mentoring and its impact on empowering researchers’ career development, while promoting diversity and inclusion was discussed. The speakers also provided best practices and insights to advance diversity and inclusion in research, highlighting challenges and barriers faced by women in their career development. As an example of best practices, the speaker Maria Jose Pontes presented different gender initiatives, undertaken by the Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, such as giving non-technical talks/presentations in schools to engage female participation in technical fields like engineering.

The speaker Masab Iqbal, shared his valuable experience as a student of an international master’s program and an MCSA (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions) doctoral network where he performed his thesis in a very diverse environment. He highlighted the importance of undertaking/promoting research programs that foster strategic international partnerships for the training and exchange of researchers enhancing cultural competency and communication/conflict resolution skills while having vital roles in the researcher’s professional development. At the end of the event, there was a networking cocktail kindly sponsored by IEEE Photonics Society providing an opportunity for participants to engage in meaningful conversations to foster diversity and inclusion.

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