Portia was established in 1997 by a group of female scientists working at Imperial College and incorporated as a not-for-profit company in 2001. The original motivation was to respond to the then UK government's concerns about under-representation of women in Science, Engineering and Technology. More lately, we have focused on the role of gender as a dimension of quality in research and innovation.
We work through national and international partnerships, involving scientific community, industry, policy makers and gender research scholars, to enhance science knowledge making; improve institutional practices and process; promote human capital; and ensure compliance with regulation. We believe firmly at putting the views and needs of science at the centre of the gender equality debate in science, and as a key to achieving sustainable economic growth and promoting Europe’s role as a global R&D leader. Our partners include universities, professional bodies, industrial research organisations, funding bodies, gender researchers, NGOs, science organisations and any other actor who can gain from and contribute to the partnerships we create.
We are always happy to explore new partnerships so do contact us if you have an idea.
Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer, Managing Director
Dr Pollitzer was a founding member of Portia as a volunteer organisation in the mid-1990s and has been active in gender and science for over 15 years. Under her initiative, Portia was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in 2001 and she has been Managing Director of Portia since, leading the company from coordinating a single modest national project to spearheading multiple international partnerships involving stakeholders from across varied sectors. In her capacity as a gender and science expert she advises, evaluates, designs and facilitates workshops for various organisations, and speaks at conferences and workshops across the world. In her role as Portia Managing Director she has been the primary co-ordinator of numerous award-winning European Commission projects under a range of funding streams, as well other funding organisations. Elizabeth’s background is in IT and Biophysics. Her original training was in the biophysical sciences, in preparation for a medical career but after from King's College London graduating with a joint honours degree in Biology and Physics, she continued her studies and obtained a PhD in Information Science, from which she went on to many years spent both teaching and researching at the Department of Computing at Imperial College, University of London in Expert systems and Human Computer interaction. Read more about Elizabeth's work and our strategy on our Gender and Science Expertise.
Elizabeth Pollitzer PhD Curriculum Vitae