Esports, Motorsports, Meteorology: More New Gender Lens Funding

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MAY 19: Danica Patrick during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May19, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

On a slightly different angle, I’ve started reading a book called “Of Boys and Men”by Richard V. Reeves of the Brookings Institute. I ran across a reference to it in the Washington Post, and it piqued my curiosity. As you may be aware, there has been a caterwauling of complaints about the problems men and boys face in these troubled times. Reeves wrote the book as an attempt to uncover the reasons for these difficulties. I’m about halfway through, so I will provide some comments on the book and its thesis in my next post. For the time being, let’s just say that Reeves presents an interesting case, but I’m not sure it’s the case he intended to present.

One: National Archives Awards $6.5 M in Grants, Many with Gender Lens

The National Archives in Washington DC has awarded grants worth $6,510,701 for projects in 27 states and the District of Columbia to improve public access to historical records. Acting Archivist of the United States Debra Steidel Wall announced the funding for a total of  47 different projects.

Among the total were grants  to 17 projects to publish the papers of key American figures such as Frederick Douglass and Jane Addams. In addition, funding was provided for Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery, which is  digitizing records of “Information Wanted” advertisements placed in newspapers across the United States by formerly enslaved people searching for family members and loved ones after emancipation, and for the Chinese American WWII Veterans Online Resource.

The overall direction of the grants is to enhance Public Engagement with historical records. Some examples are:

  • “Teaching Care: Building a History Curricular Library of Chicago’s Black Nurses”; 
  • Stillman College’s collaborative research program on African American female land owners in Alabama’s Black Belt;
  • Lewis & Clark College’s Vietnamese Portland Archive;
  • A new embedded Exhibit Tool for the University of Northern Iowa , a digital archival platform;
  • The Chicago Covenants Project, which draws on volunteers to locate, digitize, and make available racially restrictive covenants in the analog land records from Cook County, through a project sponsored by Virginia Tech University.

An additional 21 archival projects will preserve film and video, and manuscript collections documenting Black American history, feminist history collections at West Virginia University, women’s history at the University of Utah, and a history of the 1939 sit-in at the Arlington (VA) Public Library among other projects.

The program for the National Archives is carried out through the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). A complete list of new grants is available online.

The full press is available here:

Two: World Meteorological Organization Commits to Gender Equality in Governance

The World Meteorological Congress has committed to a pursuit of gender equality in WMO governance, strategy, and decision-making. Gender balance, diversity, and inclusivity will be one of the priorities of WMO’s first female Secretary-General Prof. Celeste Saulo, who was appointed by Congress. She will take office on 1 January 2024.

With his commitment WMO has reaffirmed its goal of “achieving gender equality and building resilience through the provision of gender-sensitive weather, hydrological and climate services which respond to the specific needs and socioeconomic circumstances of women and men.”  It reaffirms the minimum target of at least 40% of female members of the working structures of regional associations, technical commissions and the Research Board.

The Congress made the following recommendations to

  • Create inclusive and diverse governance structures
  • Integrate gender mainstreaming in strategic planning processes and in projects
  • Develop the capacity of WMO staff, constituent bodies and Members on both technical subjects and gender mainstreaming approaches
  • Ensure the WMO recruitment process is gender responsive
  • Develop resource tracking for allocation of funds
  • Build understanding of the gender-specific aspects of weather, hydrological, climate and environmental services

The WMO set out the following reasons to pursue  gender equality in WMO governance, strategy, programmes and decision-making

  • Improves performance; Organizations that respect and value gender equality and diversity attract and retain talented staff and improve performance. 
  • Fosters innovation and partnerships: More varied perspectives in the discussion lead to improved decision-making. 
  • Empowers women and values their unique contributions: Multiple examples highlight the vital role of women in science, climate change adaptation, disaster preparedness and recovery, ocean and natural ecosystem preservation, among others.
  • Yields people-centered solutions serving all users: Gender-responsive weather, hydrological and climate services expand the reach to communities, increase adaptive capacity, and save lives, livelihoods and assets. They take into account differing vulnerabilities, capacities and needs.

The full press is available here.

Three: Women in Motorsports North America and Jostens Announce ‘SHEro’ Program

Jostens and the Women in Motorsports North America (WIMNA) have launched the 2023 WIMNA ‘SHEro’ program to recognize and celebrate outstanding women in the motorsports industry. Jostens is the official provider and sponsor of NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA, and Motorsports Memorabilia.

The WIMNA SHEro program invites nominations of exceptional women from tracks, race teams, and other motorsports connected organizations. (Link: SHEro – WIMNA)

This partnership between Jostens and WIMNA is an important step towards creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for women in motorsports. By recognizing and celebrating the achievements of outstanding women in the industry, the WIMNA SHEro program aims to inspire the next generation of female leaders in motorsports.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with WIMNA in recognizing outstanding women throughout motorsports. I can’t wait to hear about all these women’s impressive journeys”  — Curt Bruns of Jostens

Women in Motorsports North America is a community of professionals devoted to supporting opportunities for women across all motorsport disciplines by creating an inclusive, resourceful environment to foster mentorship, advocacy, education, and growth, ensuring our sport’s continued strength and successful future.

For more news and details, please see

The full press is available here:

Four: OPERA America Awards Second Round of 2023 Opera Grants for Women Stage  Directors and Conductors

Opera Grants for Women Stage Directors and Conductors provides incentives to professional opera companies to hire women for significant artistic roles. These women enrich the production and performance of traditional works and inspire future generations of creative artists who identify as women.

Grants were awarded to four opera companies that are advancing the careers of women artists:

  • Arizona Opera (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Cincinnati Opera (Cincinnati, OH)
  • Opera Parallèle (San Francisco, CA)
  • White Snake Projects (Brookline, MA)

The initiative is generously supported by the Marineau Family Foundation as part of OPERA America’s commitment to improve gender parity in the field. Since its introduction in 2021, the Opera Grants for Women Stage Directors and Composers program has supported the career advancement of 18 stage directors and 10 conductors. 

“This latest group of the Opera Grants for Women Stage Directors and Composers winners exemplifies the commitment of opera companies across the country to bring new voices into opera.” Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. 

The full press is available here:

Five: Global Esports Federation Looks to Grow Gender Equality with New Project

The Global Esports Federation (GEF) has launched a new development programme aimed at supporting projects that “demonstrate the power of gaming for social impact”.

The program has a key focus on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, specifically gender equality.

The GEF hopes that the initiative will help contribute to E4D’s commitment to a safe, healthy, and inclusive esports ecosystem. Because esports and digital gaming occur online, players are just names on a screen. Their identities are hidden unless they choose to reveal them by showing their faces or speaking into a microphone. Discrimination or bigotry should not be a big problem for gamers, but women report a fear of revealing their identities because of ridicule and harassment when they attempt to communicate with others during games.

“We believe that esports can be and is a powerful tool to promote gender equality and want to identify, nurture, and scale projects that are already making this happen.”  — Yoan Noguier, co-founder and managing director of Yunus Sports Hub

global esports foundation launches new project:

The full press is available here.


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