Statement on Gender Balance at the Zurich School of Crystallography

The Zurich School of Crystallography supports the IUCr policy on gender balance.

Each School is limited to a maximum of 20 participants. The statistics for the gender distribution of participants at each of the previous Schools has always been in the range of 40-60% female. At the 2019 school, 60% of the participants were female. This distribution generally reflects the natural fluctuation that we get across all of the applications received, without a need for specific balancing intervention by the organizers, but we do keep an eye on it. The organizers also try to ensure a fair geographical distribution of participants when making offers to applicants.

The school has 10 full-time lecturers and occasionally one or two guest lecturers. Of these, usually only one or two are female. Finding people who are willing and have sufficient time to commit to 11 or 12 full days in residence at the school is not only very demanding, it also implies that we must feed and house them. This, and the fact that Switzerland is expensive for room and board, imposes significant stress on our limited financial resources. We have, therefore, always had to rely on the talent available in Zurich and within Switzerland, thereby minimizing travel and accommodation expenses that would be incurred if we invited international tutors. Our tutors need to be strong teachers and highly experienced in the practical aspects of small-molecule crystallography. These constraints limit the number of potential tutors we can draw on.