Breaking down barriers

Professor Sarah Whitehouse, Deputy Head of School of Mathematics and Statistics

A photo of Professor Sarah Whitehouse sitting in front of a bookshelf

As a pure mathematician, working in an area called algebraic topology, women are under-represented in my subject area and I am keen to break down barriers and promote gender equality in my field.

I am part of the Women in Topology network which aims to address the gender balance in this area and one of the main activities of the network is to host a series of workshops to support and expand research efforts by female mathematicians in the field of algebraic topology.

I was one of the organisers of the most recent workshop which brought together more than 50 senior and junior female mathematicians together at the Hausdorff Institute for Mathematics in Bonn in August 2019.

The main Women in Topology workshops have an interesting model, bringing together senior and junior researchers including advanced graduate students to cooperate on research projects on topics of common interest. Each team produces a paper as output from the workshop.

This model has been taken up more widely as a productive and enjoyable alternative to standard conferences.

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