The 2020 General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency was held in a hybrid physical/online version for the first time ever, due to the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This however did not stop it from being a busy week to join peers, virtually this time, from all over the world to discuss the hot topics in the industry today.
Lena Andriolo at the side event “Gender Balance and Inclusion in Nuclear Energy” of the 64th IAEA General Conference
As in past years, IYNC had a strong presence in the General Conference to represent the young generation in the industry and was invited to give two magnificent points of view. IYNC president, Lena Andriolo was invited to give a speech at the side event “Gender Balance and Inclusion in Nuclear Energy” hosted by the Russia Federation, where she shared the panel with the IAEA DDGA Mary Alice Hayward, and former WNA Director Agneta Rising, meanwhile Fabricia Piñeiro participated at the closing session of the Scientific Forum, that counted with the presence of very important figures of the industry, including the Director-General of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi.
Lena Andriolo spoke about the importance of diversity, gender balance, and inclusion in the nuclear field and how the young generation has a crucial role to play in this matter. She highlighted that there has been an increasing topic around gender balance and inclusion with the objective of having equal rights for men and women in the industry. In this sense, she explained that all activities carried out by IYNC are aimed to support gender balance and inclusion in the nuclear field, through e.g. STEM activities, and that the events themselves strive to have gender balance. A strong example of this was that the last two international Youth Nuclear Congress, IYNCWiN18 and IYNC2020, were strongly focused on gender balance and diversity.
Fabricia Pineiro at the closing session of the Scientific Forum of the 64th IAEA General Conference
Fabricia Piñeiro also delivered an important message at the closing session of the Scientific Forum. In her intervention, she highlighted that diversity is fundamental in order to effectively communicate and interact with the general public. This creates an inclusive environment where creativity flourishes and perspectives are broadened. Non-for-profit organizations such as IYNC and Women in Nuclear have a tremendous role to play to foster this diversity and to create unbiased links between the general public and industry. She also acknowledged that organizations like the IAEA, are also doing their part through powerful campaigns like the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Program, which recognizes the importance of including women in STEM and the paramount role that diversity plays to drive global scientific and technological innovation.
This year, around 500 delegates registered to attend the General Conference, including 141 from the 171 member states, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the press.
The 65th regular session of the IAEA General Conference will be held from 20 to 24 September 2021 at the IAEA’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria.