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Webinar on Women in Response Force Roles: International Perspectives

04 November 2020 - 04 November 2020 Online, Public Event

Applications for this event are closed
Workshop on autonomous and remotely operated systems: Benefits and challenges to nuclear security


WINS designed its Gender Champions Programme in 2018 to promote a diverse and inclusive nuclear security workforce and support the full participation of women in the sector. The programme is supported by the Government of Canada and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway.

WINS is an International Gender Champion and a Gender Champion for Women in Nuclear Policy. WINS is in active partnership with Women in Nuclear Global as well as the Group of Friends for Women in Nuclear, a group of Vienna-based ambassadors who advocate for greater representation of women in nuclear.

WINS wishes to encourage women to consider a career in areas of nuclear security where they are not necessarily well represented including law enforcement, guarding and response force roles.


Women are under-represented in response roles. The objective of this webinar was to discuss the importance of a diverse and inclusive sector for women in response to nuclear security incidents and events and the importance of the role of women in response, as well barriers to entry, opportunities, lessons learned and the way forward. The webinar focuses on both national and institutional perspectives as well as different roles within response.

The webinar was facilitated by Rhonda Evans, Lead for the WINS Gender Champions Programme.

Our special guests for the webinar were:

Mr Tomás Bieda is a nuclear security expert from Argentina. Currently, he is Tetra Tech Nuclear Security Specialist Affiliated with Oak Ridge National Laboratories. He is the former Director of Nuclear Security Policies and Nonproliferation from the Secretary of Energy of Argentina. He was the Chair of the Response and Mitigation Working Group of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and was the Working Group C Chair of the IAEA Nuclear Security Support Center Network.

Ms Asha Menon heads the Modernization Unit under the Corporate Division and is responsible to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department. She joined the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) in the year 1990 and was the first female Customs Attaché to the Malaysian Embassy in Brussels from 2002 until early 2009. She was also the first officer from an ASEAN country to be seconded to the World Customs Organisation (WCO). Asha has a law degree from the University of London and a Masters in International Strategy and Diplomacy from the National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

Dr Stacy Mui is a nuclear security expert from the United States. Currently, she is a global security systems analyst at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where she is responsible for the European regional portfolio for National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Radiological Security. Stacy formerly worked for the IAEA Division of Nuclear Security in the Material outside of Regulatory Control (MORC) Section. Stacy holds a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis.

Ms Comfort Offornedu is the Assistant Superintendent of Corps I (ASC I) and the Head, Radiological and Nuclear Unit in Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) Department, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), National Headquarters, Abuja. Comfort is currently a WINS Academy Ambassador and the interim Welfare Secretary of Women in Nuclear (WiN) global, Nigeria chapter. With special interest in CBRN emergency response, Comfort has become a frontline officer and educator; training many CBRN first responders at both state and federal levels.

Ms Kate Paul has been a Nuclear Response Team Officer for Bruce Power in Ontario, Canada for over 10 years. Her goal is to bring awareness to gender discrimination and bias found in formal and covert organisational practices for women to succeed and to sustain in nuclear security. Kate is a member of Women in Nuclear Canada 2016 as well as the World Institute for Nuclear Security 2017.  In 2018, Kate received her certification as a Nuclear Security Professional (CNSP) specialising in Nuclear Security Incident Management. Kate maintains her work, life balance with her supportive husband and three children aged 6, 2 and 1.

Each guest focused on:

  • Their story, a first-hand account of their role and experience in response;
  • Their view on why underrepresentation of women needs to be addressed;
  • Barriers they faced and obstacles they overcame in advancing their career or how they have contributed to supporting increased representation of women in response;
  • Lessons learned in increasing the representation of women in response.

The webinar guests also discussed the results of the WINS survey that was available for participants to respond to prior to the webinar: 

  • What percentage of response roles related to nuclear security incidents and events do you think are held by women?
  • Do you think that women are underrepresented in response roles related to nuclear security incidents and events?
  • Is the response sector perceived as predominantly male?
  • What do you think is the main obstacle to women entering response roles related to nuclear security incidents and events?
  • What do you think is the best method to increase female representation in response roles?

Reference materials

The Special Report on Gender and Nuclear Security

WINS gender webpages here


Date: Wednesday, 4 November 2020 from 16:00-17:00 CET

Duration: 60 minutes

Language: English

Recording: The webinar recording is available here or directly on Livestorm.

Contact Information

   Rhonda Evans

   Mehri Avlyakulova


Online Event

Public Event