The NEA works continuously with its member countries towards encouraging more women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), highlighting the prospects for women at each stage of their education and career. To help address the gender gap and ensure a robust and diverse pipeline of talent for the nuclear sector, the NEA co-organises International Mentoring Workshops with member countries and partners that seek to create motivating connections between female students and senior female representatives in the field.
On 3-4 August 2023, the NEA held its first International Mentoring Workshop in Korea, in Daejeon. Entitled “Nu-Vision for Future Young Female Leaders” and built upon the legacy of trailblazing women physicists in Korea, particularly Dr Kim Ji-yeon, the workshop was organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) of Korea and hosted by the Korea Nuclear International Cooperation Foundation (KONICOF) and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).
Myung Ja Kim, Chair of Board of Trustees, KAIST; William D. Magwood, IV, NEA Director-General; Chang-Yune Lee, Deputy Minister, Office of R&D Policy, Ministry of Science and ICT.
In total 37 female high-school students from Korea participated in the workshop, benefitting from mentoring by accomplished female scientists and engineers from Ireland, Japan, Korea and the United States who shared their academic and professional journeys and lessons learnt along the way. By providing an opportunity to closely interact with accomplished female leaders, this workshop aimed to address doubts and stereotypes, as well as inspire and encourage Korean students to consider STEM fields.
Workshop participants with workshop Co-Chairs Ann McGarry, Former Director of Energy Safety at the Irish Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), and Yeonhee Hah, Vice President for Global Activities at the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS).
Engaging discussions, a supportive environment and mentorship relationships are the core of the NEA International Mentoring Workshops. The Agency believes that such efforts will address the barriers that have hindered female participation in these disciplines and will shape a future where talented young women have equal opportunities in driving innovation for a sustainable and prosperous world.