Equality of Opportunity
The centre of excellence regards as one of its main goals to educate a new generation of mathematicians combining a strong theoretical background together with a versatile interest towards interdisciplinary and applied research. In order to achieve this goal the centre of excellence will devote special care to ensure equality of opportunity in hiring of post-doc and graduate students from Finland and from abroad.
Creating equal opportunities for young researchers entails also addressing the problem of under-representation of women in mathematics.
According to ''She figures 2006'' edited by the directorate for science and society of the European commission only 34.3% of the mathematics Ph.D. students in Finland were female. Although the data shows progress in comparison to the mid-nineties it still reveals the existence of some gender related factors which may discourage women from pursuing a career in mathematics.
The online archives of the European Women in Mathematics (EWM) society and of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) together with the aforementioned EU directorate for science and society provide extensive discussions of these factors.
The Center of Excellence is committed to take action to remove any hindering factor as far as it is possible:
- Creating a friendly, internationally and culturally open environment will help young researchers, female and male, to define their career path free from preconceptions. Mobility opportunities for female students will be emphasised.
- Mentoring and a supportive attitude will be offered to ease possible tensions and devise flexible path to career development especially for young female researchers.
- The centre of excellence will encourage joint projects among students to promote a cooperative attitude among them by sharing common goals.
- The centre of excellence includes as senior researcher members very successful examples of women in mathematics. Furthermore care will be taken to invite female top researchers for lecture series in order to compensate the lack of female role models in Finland. Networking among young researchers will be encouraged and supported also by opening and maintaining a web-page collecting information about opportunities for women in science. Female young researchers will be also encouraged to advertise their work by applying to international fellowships such as the L'Oreal/UNESCO prizes and grants for Women in Science.