Closing the Gap: Strategies for Global Gender Equity in Brain Research

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This event highlights concrete initiatives and programmes, primarily at the institutional level, aimed at closing the gender gap in global brain research.

This is the second instalment of series on the gender gap in neuroscience which started in October 2023 with the webinar "Unfinished Business: Persistent Global Gender Disparities in Neuroscience”.

While the first webinar explored the underlying causes of the enduring gender gap in brain research worldwide, this session focuses on actionable steps and programmes designed to dismantle barriers and promote gender equity. Our previous discussions concluded that the gender gap is a tangible issue, driving talented cisgender women and LGBTQIA+ people away from scientific research due to systemic obstacles. Therefore, our aim with this webinar is to showcase effective strategies for addressing these systemic challenges and ultimately closing the gap.

Our speakers share successful initiatives and programmes from around the world that have effectively narrowed the gender gap in science. By analysing these case studies and best practices, we aim to provide concrete pathways for progress and inspire institutions and scientists from across the globe to implement these practical approaches to create meaningful change for more gender equity in academic and research settings.

Programmes featured


  • Dr Jee Hyun Kim - Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation, Deakin University, Australia // Chair
  • Dr Jennifer (Jenn) Jakobi - Chair for Women in Science and Engineering for the BC/Yukon Region, Canada
  • Dr Vicky (Victoire) Ghafi Kondi Akara - Gender and Inclusion Officer & Resident Researcher in Climate Scientist & at AIMS Research and Innovation Centre, Kigali, Rwanda
  • Dr Michelle Hamlet - National Institutes of Health, Office of the Director, Office of Strategic Coordination, the Common Fund, United States
  • Farah Qaiser - 500 Women Scientists Leadership Team Member, Canada
  • Dr Marian Joels - University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Dr Vasanta Subramanian (Bath, UK) will unfortunately not be able to join us.

 Dr Jee Hyun Kim

profile picture of Jee

Professor Jee Hyun Kim is the Head of Molecular Psychiatry Laboratory at Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation, Deakin University. She studies the neurobiology of age-specific memory in health and disease using cells, rodents, and humans. She has won numerous national and international awards for her ground-breaking work and is a passionate science communicator.

Dr Michelle Hamlet

Michelle HamletDr. Hamlet has been working at the National Institutes of Health for nearly 20 years, covering many areas of research and career development. She is the FIRST Program Leader. In her spare time, she crochets and knits.

Farah Qaiser

Farah Qaiser

Farah Qaiser is a genomics researcher by training. Farah holds a Master of Science from the University of Toronto, where she used genome sequencing to better understand neurological disorders. Outside the lab, she has written about science for various media outlets, served on the Canada Chief Science Advisor’s inaugural Youth Council, and sits on the Let’s Talk Science Board of Directors. With her colleague Hajer Nakua, Farah recently co-wrote her first children’s book, Khadija and The Elephant Toothpaste Experiment, a story about a young girl carrying out an at-home science experiment with mixed and messy results.

Dr Jennifer (Jenn) Jakobi

Jennifer (Jenn) Jakobi

Dr Jakobi is the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering for the BC and Yukon Region. She was trained in Kinesiology and neuromuscular physiology. Her primary area of research is Exercise Neuroscience. Dr. Jakobi leads the Westcoast Women in Engineering Science and Technology (WWEST) Program. Through this program she is working towards increasing diversity in the sciences through engaging, mentoring and supporting women and underrepresented persons in exploring, understanding and hopefully pursuing education and careers in fields that are historically under-represented by women.

Dr Vicky Ghafi Kondi Akara

Picture of Victoire KondiA Resident Researcher at AIMS Research and Innovation Centre, Dr Kondi conducts climate change science research. As the Gender and Inclusion Officer, she leads initiatives for Gender Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion at AIMS Rwanda and in the network. Specializing in Weather-Climate Services, Energy Demand Modeling, and Efficiency Management, her 11-year expertise spans climate change, environmental management, renewable energy, energy efficiency, water and sanitation, mathematical and climate modeling, and data analysis. She has worked with various international organisations, such as GIZ. EU, African Union, and on numerous publications and reports tackling global issues.

Dr Kondi is also an Africa Climate Ambassador 2024, an International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists (INWES) Board Member, promoting STEM fields and youth leadership, particularly among women, and Africa Union volunteer 2021.

Dr Marian Joels
Dr Marian Joels

Marian Joëls obtained her PhD degree in Utrecht in 1984 (The Netherlands). She carried out postdoctoral research at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla California, US. In 2009 she was appointed as (full) professor of neuroscience in Utrecht and scientific director of Brain Center Rudolf Magnus. Between 2016 and 2023, she was Dean of the University Medical Center Groningen. Her research group focuses on the effects of stress in the brain, in health and disease.

Dr Joëls was awarded the ALBA-FKNE Diversity Prize in 2021 for her outstanding work to promote women’s careers in neuroscience. She wrote several books, including ‘Meisjes zijn niet bèta-dom’ (Girls are not science stupid) (2010) and Baanbreeksters (Pioneers) (2021) about twelve women who became leaders in their field.

Please note that the webinar will be held in English. There will be written live captions and translation available.

This webinar is part of the ALBA-IBRO global diversity webinars and organised with the support of the International Brain Research Organization, a founding partner of the ALBA Network.

IBRO logo

Webinars Working Group

Rachael DangarembiziDipesh ChaudhuryJacque Ip
Mary Kay LoboSrikanth Ramaswamy

A special thanks to: Emmeline Edwards, Marian Joels, Aniko Korosi, and Mathilde Maughan & Keerthana Iyer (ALBA Office).