Follow-up: Education and training in the space sector IX: Empowering the Cosmos: Women’s dynamic role in shaping the space sector and the contribution of education and mentorship programmes, 6 December 2023

On the 6th of December, NEREUS presented the 9th session on on how education/mentorship programmes could contribute to the empowerment of women in the space sector. Ms Margarita Chrysaki, NEREUS Communication/Project officer, moderated the webinar.


The session commenced with Ms. Sarah Baatout, Deputy Institute Director of Nuclear Medical Applications at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, shared insights into her leadership journey in space, training programs inspiring women in STEM, and offered valuable tips for achieving space-based career goals. The question posed to her touched upon the evolving role of women in the sector and actions universities can take to support them.



Next, Ms. Veronica Cesco, Associate Programme Officer at the United Nations and coordinator of the Space4women initiative, presented the mentoring program’s history, activities, and outcomes, emphasizing the international scope of the UN’s efforts to promote gender equality in space exploration and development.



Ms. Christine Lerquen, Member of the Board of Directors at CICE, Luxembourg, and a Senior Expert in Satellite Communications Strategy, shared her experiences in the private sector. Her insights covered the evolution of women in leadership roles, areas for improvement, and successful tips for aspiring women in the space industry.



A brief pause was taken to invite audience questions for the previous speakers, addressing concrete challenges discouraging women from seeking leadership positions in the space sector.


The webinar continued with Rozenn Marechal, Brittany region representative on the NEREUS Management Board, sharing her inspiration for joining the board, challenges for women in leadership, and tips for space-based career goals. Her insights delved into how European regions can promote diversity and support women’s involvement in the space sector for regional development.



The session concluded with perspectives from trainees (Maddalena Tobio, Veneto region) and mentees (Natalia Skripnikova, Expert at GRID-Arendal) involved in the space sector, exploring the importance of mentorship programs and experiences supporting the organization of Copernicus4regions.



In summary, the webinar provided a comprehensive overview of women’s roles in the space sector, emphasizing the significance of education, mentorship, and regional support for fostering diversity and empowerment.



Sarah Baatout (link)


Watch the full discussion:


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