CERN Women March 8th Event

A collection of informative material for people interested in the March 8th event .

Preparation for the CERN Courrier article for the 100th anniversary on March 8, 2011

  • The latest copy has a shortened version for the LHC era approved by the authors. By mistake, the long version was in the document. I added the new comments people made to that section, but without modifying the quotes as requested by Claudia (since quotes are quotes!). It is mostly just streamlined from the longer version. Apologies ... (Pauline)

  • New modified copy with comments from Claudia Wultz and Sandra Cioccio and Paula Eerola and Pauline: please start from this copy to add your comments (and please track them!)

  • 100years-AC.docx: this is actually the version with the correct pieces especially for 40's 50's


  • Contribution on scanning women: Chiara Mariotti and Pauline Gagnon (with contributions from Madeleine Znoy and Anita Bjorkebo)



  • Meeting on Monday, January 10, from 13:00-15:00 in room 40-R-D10 with a connection on EVO
We were asked to prepare an article for the CERN Courier to mark this important anniversary. Here are some constraints:
  • Tight deadline: The article must be given to the CERN Courrier editor, Christine Sutton, by Jan 24th
  • The article can be anything from about 1300 to 2000 words.
  • We could easily divide it in smaller sections and cover different aspects: historical (this is also 100 years after the 1911 Solvay Conference, the first international physics conference where Marie Curie was the only female participant); personal testimonies; accounts from different sectors at CERN: experimental physicists, support staff, old scanning teams, computer scientists, accelerator physicists and engineers, technical staff etc.
  • Several articles have appeared over the years in the CERN Courrier and the CERN Bulletin:
  • Photo collection from last year (click on Public then on PourPauline)

This year is also the 100th anniversary of Marie Skłodowska–Curie’s Chemistry Nobel prize"in recognition of her services to the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, by the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of this remarkable element."

She was the first woman to receive the Nobel prize 8 years earlier, this time for Physics shared with Pierre Curie, and Henri Becquerel.


The first international physics conference in Solvay in 1911

Outreach page

The Outreach page; will be used on March 8 to show live images from the control rooms and interviews with various women from CERN.

Press coverage

*Official statements from the management

Official statement from CERN sent out on Thursday, 4 March 2010

This press release was sent to journalists today. Version française ci-dessous

Geneva, 4 March 2010. On Monday 8 March, CERN will take on a distinctly feminine look as the laboratory celebrates the role of women in physics. Often seen as a male preserve, the reality is rather different, with women playing key roles across all areas of CERN activity.

“At CERN, and in particle physics the world over, talent is the only criterion that counts,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. “Gender, race and religion have no part to play in finding the right person for the job.”

On women’s day, CERN will be sending a clear message to any young women interested in science and engineering that this is a field for them. In the CERN Control Centre, half the Engineers-in-Charge who take responsibility for operating the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, are women. In the experiments, in all CERN departments and in the management, women are increasingly represented.

For women’s day, CERN is encouraging its staff and users to enable as many women as possible to be on shift in the control rooms of the laboratory’s experiments and accelerators, to staff the IT helpdesk and to guide official visits.

“The fact that we can do this easily may come as a surprise to those who don’t know us better,” said Heuer, “but it’s no surprise to me. Curiosity, the main prerequisite for being a researcher, is a shared characteristic of all humankind and that’s reflected in the CERN community. Men and women from all over the world come here to pursue their research, and the diversity they bring is one of our greatest assets.”

The US laboratory, Fermilab, is also celebrating women’s day in similar style, and at 15:30CET, there will be a videoconference link between the two labs.

Full details of International Women’s Day at CERN can be found at:


Genève, le 4 mars 2010. Le lundi 8 mars, le CERN prendra une apparence résolument féminine alors que le Laboratoire rendra hommage au rôle que jouent les femmes dans le monde de la physique. Contrairement aux idées reçues, la discipline n’est plus l’apanage des hommes, les femmes jouant au CERN des rôles essentiels dans tous ses domaines d'activité.

« Dans le domaine de la physique des particules, au CERN comme ailleurs, le talent est le seul critère qui compte, a déclaré Rolf Heuer, Directeur général du CERN. Le sexe, la race ou la religion n’entrent pas en ligne de compte lorsqu’il s’agit de trouver le bon candidat. »

À l’occasion de la Journée de la femme, nous souhaitons envoyer un message clair aux jeunes femmes attirées par la science et l’ingénierie pour leur dire que ces disciplines sont aussi faites pour elles. Au Centre de contrôle du CERN, la moitié des ingénieurs responsables de l'exploitation du Grand collisionneur de hadrons, l'accélérateur de particules le plus puissant du monde, sont des femmes. Au sein des expériences, des différents départements et de la Direction du CERN, les femmes sont de plus en plus représentées.

À l’occasion de cette journée, le CERN invite son personnel et ses utilisateurs à permettre au plus grand nombre de femmes possible d’être aux postes de contrôle des expériences et des accélérateurs du Laboratoire, d’être présentes au service d’assistance informatique et de guider des visites officielles.

« Le fait que nous puissions organiser cela si facilement pourra surprendre ceux qui ne nous connaissent pas bien, a souligné Rolf Heuer, mais pour moi, cela n’a rien d’étonnant. La curiosité, la condition préalable essentielle pour être chercheur, est une caractéristique commune aux hommes et aux femmes, et la communauté du CERN l’illustre bien. En effet, des hommes et des femmes du monde entier viennent ici conduire leurs recherches, et la diversité qu’ils apportent avec eux est l’une de nos plus grandes richesses. »

Le laboratoire américain Fermi célèbre aussi à sa façon la Journée de la femme, et, à 15 h 30 (HEC), les deux laboratoires seront en liaison par visioconférence.

Les renseignements complets sur la Journée internationale de la femme au CERN figurent à l’adresse :

Official statement from ATLAS sent out on Friday, 5 March 2010

ATLAS is proud of its record of diversity and equal opportunities at all levels, based on merit, not gender, nationality, or cultural background. Women have a range of key roles in ATLAS, such as experiment head (Spokesperson), Deputy Collaboration Board Chair, Project Leaders, System Run Coordinators and Leaders of physics analysis activities.

On the occasion of International Women's Day, ATLAS would like to reaffirm its commitment to continue this fully open tradition, for example regarding equal gender opportunities, with particular attention to the younger generation.

Official statement from CMS sent out on Saturday, 6 March 2010

Women scientists, engineers and technicians have been and are taking significant roles in every aspect of building, commissioning and running of the CMS detector as well as in extracting scientific results from our data. Today 588 women scientists work in CMS.

This is a fundamental progress in the field of scientific research that is well known within the international scientific community. We would like to take the occasion of the International Women's Day to publicize it to the society at large and in particular to the young public.

This is why today, to highlight the wide range of key roles that women scientists play in CMS, all major functions that are needed to run our complex apparatus are covered by women scientists.

First official statement from CERN

Text of the official statement, approved by the CERN Director General, sent out by the Press Office to other laboratories to invite them to join in this event.

Celebrating women in particle physics

"On March 8th, 2010, during International Women's Day, CERN will celebrate the progress of women in particle physics. CERN is encouraging its staff and users to enable as many women as possible to be on shift in the control rooms for CERN's experiments and accelerators, staff the IT helpdesk, and guide official visits. By this action, CERN hopes to make even more visible the presence of women at all levels throughout the laboratory, and to send a clear message to all young women interested in particle physics and high technology that they are welcome in the field as physicists, engineers and computer scientists. The goal is to show the world that particle physics is a field where women play an active role at the forefront of experimental research.

We would like to invite your laboratory to join in the celebration. One way to participate could be to encourage your scientists, both female and male, to enable women to take shifts in one of your laboratory's control rooms on that day. If you let us know in advance of your activities, or send us any photos from your activities on March 8, we will be happy to include it in any publicity or photo gallery compiled by CERN".

Contact people from each participating group

. If you are a participating group or institution please feel free to add the status of your planned activities or comunicate them to the mailing list


Contact:: Despina Hatzifotiadou, Wisla Carena


Contact: Sarah Heim, Sandra Ciocio


Contact: Sara Bolognesi, Marta Felcini, Chiara Mariotti

March 8, 2010 - CMS Women on shift: 91 % of CMS shifts taken by women [ that is 22 women per 24 shifts (source: CMS Run Coordinator Tiziano Camporesi)]

Event receives strong support by the CMS spokesperson, Guido Tonelli, and CMS Run Coordinator, Tiziano Camporesi.

Planned activities:

  • In collaboration with CMS Run Coordinator and Subsystem Run Managers: CMS shifts on March 8th manned by women (already 2/3 of assigned shifts, taken by women),
  • In collaboration with CMS Outreach Group: (1) CMS Women Photo Wall (M. Hoch) with portraits of female CMS collaborators, (2) Involvement of CMS collaborating institutes (Fermilab and others) to take part in the event, (3) Collection of event-related multimedia material to be collected on CMS outreach web-page for public use (articles, outreach talks, school visits, etc.)
  • In collaboration with CERN Media Team: CMS videos (P. Catapano) to be taken at CMS P5 control room and Meyrin Centre.
  • In collaboration with other CERN experiments/groups and Visit Service: CMS women involvement in CERN visits and public lectures.

Equal Opportunities

Contact: Doris Chromek-Burckhart


Contact: Maite Barroso Lopez, Catherine Delamare


Contact: Markus Albert


Contact: Paula Collins, Monica Pepe Altarelli

Planned activities:

  • In collaboration with LHCb Commissioning Coordinator and Subsystem Run Managers: LHCb shifts on March 8th staffed by women.
  • Planning to produce a poster featuring women working on the experiment.
  • Producing relevant statistics.

Outside Labs

Contact: Katie Yurkewicz

Press Office

Contact: Antonella Del Rosso

Radiation Protection

Contact: Isabel Brunner

Visit Service

Contact: Mick Storr



Meetings details (date, time, EVO coordinates, etc) are announced through the mailing list and posted on Indico under Indico Home > Conferences, Workshops and Events > Events > Miscellaneous

Date Agenda and Slides Minutes
Feb. 18, 2010 link link
Jan. 21, 2010 link link
Jan. 8, 2010 link link



  • poster1.jpg:

  • poster2-2.jpg:

Useful links

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  • 1911 Solvay Conference photo:

  • scanners.pdf: Contribution on scanners - Chiara Mariotti and Pauline Gagnon

  • Photo option 1 - scanners contribution:

  • 100years-AC.docx: this is actually the version with the correct pieces especially 40's 50's

  • ATLASGroupPhotoWomensDay2010.jpg

Topic attachments
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PDFpdf staff-viewpoint-final.pdf r1 manage 23.9 K 2011-01-17 - 13:23 PaulineGagnon1 Staff viewpoint - Morna Robillard and Daniele Lajust
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Topic revision: r43 - 2011-01-24 - AlessandraCiocio
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