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Inclusion, diversity, equality and access at the frontiers of the space sector
On March 25 2019, NASA announced it would launch the first all-female spacewalk of two women at the International Space Station. Yet, days after the announcement was made, the spacewalk was cancelled as there was only one space suit that would fit a woman. Months later, the historic spacewalk was completed, yet the incident highlighted the gender gap that remains in space.
Given Space 2.0 is bringing unprecedented opportunities for nations, building on humanity’s first endeavours to reach space by increasing accessibility, improving technology, and rapidly growing the surrounding space industry, ensuring our progress does not outpace the development of the right kind of space sector remains a crucial challenge. Whilst we know that women’s inclusion in international affairs results in better decision-making and higher levels of collaboration and consensus and the ‘business case’ for diversity can be made on moral and strategic grounds, currently, inclusion, diversity, equality and access (IDEA) in space is not guaranteed.
The Diversity at the Frontier: Gender Equality in Space Conference will bring together experts, practitioners, policymakers, and the next generation of the space workforce in person at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.
Generously supported by the ACT Government along with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian Space Agency, the United States Government and the Australian Academy of Science, the conference will explore the most pressing questions of the space sector.
- Is space gendered?
- What challenges exist for women and historically marginalised groups seeking space careers?
- What policies do government and industry need to ensure an inclusive future?
- What values do we want to embed in our space conduct, and how can government and industry be at the forefront of values-led space engagement?
- How can we apply the Women, Peace and Security Agenda to space?
- Does (and how does) a lack of diversity in the space workforce pose a security risk?
- What are the implications of space exploration for First Nations communities?
- How does space affect women’s bodies and health?