East-West Center Director Talks About Gender and Sustainable Development at NCKU

TAINAN, Taiwan–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nancy Davis Lewis from the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, gave a
speech on the topic “The Journey to Sustainable Development Charting a
Gender Responsive Course” on Feb. 22 at the NCKU Y. S. Sun Green
Building Research Center. This is also the second plenary speech given
on during the Gro Brundtland week, a science event featuring female
scientists in sustainable development.

Lewis is introduced by Professor Shih-Chun Lung as one of the first
female scientists in sustainability science. The speech consists of two
journeys of the speaker: the journey of women as scientists and
engineers in Asia and the Pacific and the journey of women as agents of
change for sustainable development in a changing climate.

“Women and men working together may make better decisions with respect
to sustainability and also advance scientific understanding further,”
said Lewis. She stated that the phenomenon of leaky pipelines, glass
ceilings and sticky floors are what keeps women from advanced workplace
including the field of science research.

She also quoted a research done in Taiwan. Reasons that stop women from
doing science research involve “Socio-cultural factors including family,
work-life balance and pervasive impact of masculine culture on training
and promotion.”

“Women are critical agents of social change. Their understandings of
social networks and community resources as well as their life
experiences have much to contribute to sustainable development.” Lewis
stressed the importance of involving women in the position of decision
making. “One of the reasons that it’s important to have women in the
highest level is because they make the decisions about funding and
research. I think we all have to work together as a global community to
try to address that.”

As to cope with the situation, she said, “I think what is important is
to get the government ministries to work across ministries. We need all
the human resources to solve these problems.”

In sharing experiences as female in the field of science with recipients
of the first Gro Brundltland award, Lewis said, “In the male dominated
environment, be professional but move forward. Be firm and speak up for
the right things.”


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