Rafael Grossi’s Speech for II Annucl Conference “Women in Nuclear Ukraine”

I am delighted to be here with you today and congratulate you on the long trip of Ukraine’s Chapter of Women in Nuclear. Your mission is a worthy one, that resonates greatly with me.

One of the first things I did after becoming Director General of IAEA last December was to commit the Agency to gender parity by 2025. I know it is an ambitious goal, but I am convinced, that we will achieve it. Nuclear makes important contributions to global issues like food security, health, energy and clean water. All of this disproportionately affect women. This is just one reason, I find the underrepresentation of women in our field particularly unacceptable. To do our job well, we must constantly innovate, whether it is to fight the pandemic, or to ensure our inspectors are given access to key nuclear sites around the world.

Many academic studies have shown what most of us already know, that the diverse teams innovate better. To understand and to address the wide variety of issues that nuclear sector tackles, it is crucial, that we bring together a great of variety of the experiences and perspectives.

To get more balanced gender mix at the IAEA and other important Organizations in the nuclear field, we must boost the number of women studying stem subjects. This is why, I recently launched the IAEA’s Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Program. It provides financial support to young women, pursuing master’s degrees in nuclear field are first 100 fellows come from 71 Member States including the Ukraine. There studies cover everything from nuclear engineering to nuclear medicine and from nuclear security to nonproliferation and nuclear law. But this group of talented women is just the start. We want to build a far bigger network throughout the years. And therefore, I hope you will tell your friend and colleagues to apply. Inclosing, I would like to congratulate you again on the launched of the Ukrainian Chapter of WiN. I look forward to hearing about the winner of your new award and I wish you a successful Conference.

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