Zilele trecute, s-a iscat un adevărat scandal în jurul unei conferințe științifice europene, unde, inițial, a fost invitată și savanta geneticiană Samantha Decombe. Mai târziu, motivul pe care l-au imputat organizatorii, pentru a o retrage din lista de participanți, a fost sarcina Samanthei.

Geneticiana britanică a rămas surprinsă atunci când a primit o scrisoare cu următorul conținut:

„Am luat o decizie colegială și nu putem lua asupra noastră responsabilitatea pentru călătoria DVS în siguranță de la Oxford la Bruxelles, în ultimele luni de sarcină.”

Extract of my response to this email from representatives of the @europeancommission withdrawing my invite to speak at a conference on the basis of being 7 months pregnant: „I was invited to speak at this years conference in Brussels as a young female scientist and entrepreneur, who has set up two companies and raised over £1M in funding and grants to support the research around our ideas. As this is an area I am passionate about I agreed to speak and offer my experiences and views. As I am sure you are aware, one of the key hurdles facing many women in science and entrepreneurship is the desire to start a family, and how this will fit in with their career plans. As @sherylsandberg, COO of Facebook, has said in the past, so many women ‘leave before they leave’ in anticipation of starting a family due to the guilt of juggling these two apparently contradictory options, taking on less responsibility within their role, taking a back seat in key decision-making and effectively putting the brakes on their career prospects before they actually need to, ensuring that on their return to work they are already at a disadvantage. I do not intend to put the brakes on my ambitions until I need to, and would encourage others to consider why we lay this guilt on female researchers that wish to have both a career and a family. Turning away a pregnant speaker, who is in excellent health and has voluntarily agreed to travel to voice her opinions at this event seems to me to be the perfect demonstration of why this is still such an issue for many, and the absolute opposite of what I would hope the European Commission would want to convey. I cannot see what risk my presence at this event would represent for the EC, and hope you will reconsider your decision to withdraw my voice on account of what should be considered a perfectly natural occurance that likely around half of your audience will experience at some stage in their lives. I would hope that they would not be encouraged to ‘leave before they leave’ on account of having made the choice to start their own family”. Disappointingly, I did not receive a reply to this email. #feminism #pregnancyproblems #womeninbusiness

Фото опубликовано Dr. Samantha Decombel (@samdecombel)

În ciuda încercărilor de a le explica organizatorilor că poate să ajungă în Belgia nu neapărat cu avionul, ci și cu trenul, participarea Samanthei la conferință deja fusese amânată.

I hadn’t expected to make a formal announcement of this on social media, but given the events of the last few weeks it feels like the right thing to do. I am pregnant. I am over the moon that myself and my partner will soon be welcoming our little girl into the world. I am also still the Chief Science Officer of @fitnessgenes and love my job. When I was invited to give a talk in #Brussels this week on #science and #entrepreneurship, I happily accepted, as it is a cause close to my heart. So you can imagine my shock when my invite was withdrawn by @europeancommission officials due to my being 7 months on ‘health reasons’. As an advocate for our company I am in excellent health. Regardless, it should be my choice, as it should be any woman’s choice, as to whether to participate in events at this later stage of pregnancy. I invited them to reconsider, with a heartfelt and considered response. I didn’t even get a reply. I emailed again, making them aware of how disappointed I was in this lack of response to such an important issue as pregnancy discrimination. They then tried to insist the withdrawal was due to other reasons, despite the strong evidence to the contrary. I felt I had no option but to escalate this further. The Sunday Times have picked up my story as an exclusive and I look forward to this issue finally being taken as seriously as I believe it should be. This type of discrimination is not only illegal, it discourages women from pursuing careers in science or business as they believe they have to make a choice between this and family. This should absolutely not be the case, and is too important to let go unchallenged. #discrimination #health #pregnant #pregnantinheels #pregnancy #pregnantgirlproblems #pregnancyproblems #femaleentrepreneur #womeninbusiness #girlboss #entrepreneurship #equality #science #womeninscience #feminism #leanin #Business #businesswomen #femalefounder #startup

Фото опубликовано Dr. Samantha Decombel (@samdecombel)

Experiența prin care a trecut, a motivat-o pe Samantha să lanseze o adevărată campanie virtuală, de susținere a femeilor care sunt discriminate în baza „criteriului” sarcinii.

Geneticiana le încurajează pe gravide să practice cât mai multă mișcare și antrenamente sportive. Pentru asta, le încurajează să încarce pe rețelele sociale fotografii cu hastagul #7monthsawesome (a 7-a, minunata lună) și să combată discriminarea.

Foto:  Instagram, Twitter

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