Enhancing the Success of Women in Vision Science: Females of Vision, et al. (FoVea)
Females of Vision et al. (FoVea) is a new group created to advance the visibility, impact, and success of women in vision science. The ratio of women to men in the Vision Sciences Society (VSS) is near equal at the pre-doctoral level (1:1.13) but decreases as career stage increases (Cooper & Radonjić, 2016). The decline is symptomatic of forces that impede the professional development of female vision scientists. FoVea is conducting activities on several fronts to counter these negative forces, which we will present in this video. First, we established the FoVea Travel and Networking Award (supported by NSF) to help female vision scientists build their professional network. The award provides financial support for attending the VSS annual meeting and encourages applicants to network with faculty there. Second, FoVea identifies competitive females for the prestigious VSS Young Investigator award and contacts their former advisors to encourage their nomination. Historically, females have been far less likely to be nominated for this award and we are working to reduce this gender gap. Third, FoVea has established a satellite meeting during the VSS annual meeting, which hosts panels and discussions on topics of professional development. These topics are relevant to all members of the community but are aimed to address issues that might impede the success of females. Through these efforts, FoVea aims to raise awareness of gender disparity in the sciences and build a community of scientists of all genders who work together to enhance the success of females in vision science.