Eight American Women in STEM Fields Travel to Brazil

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 2, 2011

Eight American women scientists in their early to mid-careers will travel to Brazil from December 5-13 on a U.S.-Brazil exchange program designed to recruit, retain and advance women in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

The women, selected by the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, represent a diverse range of interests, backgrounds and experiences across the STEM fields. They were chosen from a pool of more than 500 applicants, demonstrating the extensive interest in opportunities for women in STEM to connect with colleagues in the U.S. and abroad. As part of the trip, they will attend the Third National Conference on Policies for Women, convened by Brazil’s Secretariat of Policies for Women in Brasília, Brazil. President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff and UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet will also be in attendance. The scientists will also visit research institutions and technology centers in the Brazilian Northeast, Amazon Region, and Southeast.

The exchange is sponsored by the Brazilian and U.S. Governments under a Memorandum of Understanding between the two governments. The Memorandum was signed in March 2010 by Secretary Clinton and Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, and aims to eliminate discrimination against women and achieve gender equality. Recruiting, retaining, and advancing women in STEM is one of the key priorities highlighted under the MOU, and the United States and Brazil have undertaken a series of activities promoting women in science.

Eight Brazilian women scientists traveled this past March to the U.S. on a similar exchange, where they visited U.S. universities and attended the 55th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the theme of which was empowering women and girls through STEM. The need for informal and formal mentoring for women in STEM fields was a key takeaway for the women.

The women will depart Brazil the evening of December 13.

PRN: 2011/2051