Empowering women in science and business - IHES
Picture a Scientist - les femmes dans les sciences IHES

Empowering women in science and business

Women are still largely underrepresented in science, particularly in physics and mathematics, which remain male-dominated subjects both in higher education and in research.

While 2021 marks the arrival of the first woman permanent professor at IHES, Laure Saint-Raymond, there is still much to do, not least at IHES, to make these domains more egalitarian.

IHES and the Fondation Mathématique Jacques Hadamard (FMJH) are organizing an event to set focus on these essential topics of equality and inclusion:

“Empowering women in science and business”
Conversation with Martine Liautaud,
Founder and President of Women Initiative Foundation

The event will take place in French on Wednesday 15 September at 6:00pm, simultaneously at the Marilyn and James Simons Conference Center at IHES and online.

Starting from her personal experience and from a reflection on the film “Picture a Scientist“, Martine Liautaud, Founder and President of the Women Initiative Foundation, which has been promoting diversity and women in the business world, will be interviewed by Bruno Dranesas, Director of editorial strategies at ELEPHANT, which accompanies major French companies, on the role of women in science and in the business world . What lessons can higher education and research learn from the initiatives implemented by business companies?

By identifying the difficulties that women face in traditionally male-dominated fields, the objective of this discussion will be to reflect on concrete actions that can be taken to make these fields more attractive and accessible to women.

The film “Picture a Scientist” will be made available from September 13 to 16 upon request.

A public screening will take place at IHES on September 15 at 4:00 pm, before the discussion with Martine Liautaud. Access will be guaranteed to a limited number of people, upon reservation, and will be subject to the evolution of the health conditions. For those attending the event on site, masks will be mandatory and a health pass may be required (depending on health regulations on the day of the event).

Ideas pinpointed during this event will contribute to the panel discussion that will take place on women in mathematics on October 4. Its aim will be to reflect on relevant initiatives to promote women in mathematics both in higher education and in research, the domains that most closely pertain to the Institute and to the Fondation Mathématique Jacques Hadamard.

These important occasions of discussion will help IHES identify concrete actions to attract and promote brilliant women and girls to careers in mathematics and in science. Some of these initiatives could be funded through the next Friends of IHES gala, dedicated to “Women in Fundamental Research”.

Martine LiautaudMartine Liautaud is an investment banker, business angel, entrepreneur and philanthropist. She is the founder and president of Women Initiative Foundation (WIF), a foundation designed to support gender equality initiatives in the business world, and also a member of the Strategic Committees of CentraleSupélec and Université Paris-Saclay.



Bruno DranesasBruno Dranesas is a former business journalist, having served as editorial director of BFM Business and deputy director of the business newspaper La Tribune. In 2005 he joined the consulting and content production group ELEPHANT as director of editorial strategies.




Picture a Scientist is a documentary directed by Ian Cheney and Sharon Shattuck and produced by Manette Pottle, Ian Cheney and Sharon Shattuck. The movie provides new perspectives on how to make science more diverse, equitable, and open to all through the experiences of three women scientists, a biologist, a chemist, and a geologist.


Watch the interview with Martine Liautaud:

Find all the videos of the event