A balance that is rarely achieved. The European Commission establishes that in order to have gender harmony, there must be a minimum of 40% of both sexes: a goal that in the university sphere is not achieved at the academic levels of professors and rectors or in the fields of engineering, computer science and physics, with a much greater presence of men. To remember it, there is October 11, the International Day of the Girl Child, a date on which, among other aspects, the UN emphasizes the importance of adequate and fair education that promotes the labor inclusion of women and ends gender stereotypes, not only in childhood , but also in adolescence and adulthood.
At the university stage, according to the U-Multirank Gender Monitor, a study promoted by the European Commission that analyzed more than a thousand institutions from 80 countries, including Spain, with data from 76 Spanish universities present in the CYD ranking, the presence of women is egalitarian. if we look at the number of students enrolled, but it decreases as the academic career progresses, reaching 20% at university management levels. On the contrary, in nursing, education and social work degrees, women predominate by a large majority.
In Spain, the same phenomenon is observed worldwide: 56% of students enrolled at the university are women, but their presence decreases as their academic career progresses: they represent 49% of theses read, 43% of teaching and research faculty ( PDI), 25% of professors and 23% of rectors. According to Gender Monitor’s global data, the presence of women is lowest in STEM fields (acronym in English for science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and, as is the case in Spain, their presence tends to decrease with the advancement of the academic career: women do not represent 20% of the teaching staff in universities with training in science and technology area, while in those with a more general profile they represent about 35%.
In Spain, in STEM disciplines, women represent 36% of students, 37% of theses read, 30% of teaching and research staff (PDI) and 23% of departments. As a woman advances her professional career at university, that is, after graduation, she pursues a Ph.D., it is professor and researcher and manages to achieve a professorship, her presence is less representative.
In Spain, in STEM-related fields of knowledge, biology (62%), chemistry (55%) and architecture (50%) are those with the highest presence of women in the classroom, while computer engineering (14%), mechanics Engineering (17%) and Electrical Engineering (19%) have the fewest enrollments.
In a debate organized by the CYD Foundation on talent in the technological field, the rector of the Polytechnic University of Cartagena, Beatriz Miguel, emphasized the importance of strengthening the affinity of women to engineering-related disciplines at an early age. “At school, if a girl wants to be an engineer and she’s not very sure, without support from her teachers and her family, she’ll probably reject the idea.”
For her part, Isabel Fernández, rector of Alfonso X el Sabio University, emphasized that this reinforcement can come with the example of other women: “We need to create a safe environment of trust where girls can learn about the testimonies of women engineers in schools. who are satisfied with their professions”. In turn, the group Lego launching this Tuesday to mark the International Day of the Girl, a new campaign, Let’s Keep Them Curious! (Let’s Keep Your Curiosity!) to encourage girls to pursue science and science subjects and careers. Through five activities, aims to inspire parents to continue nurturing girls’ interest by exploring fun challenges with characteristic bricks.
Because, according to a report from the Geena Davis Institute’s Lego Creative Studio, 80% of boys are encouraged to code at an early age, compared to 20% of girls. Also, when asked, six-year-old boys think that girls don’t like science. These misconceptions extend into adolescence and adulthood, contributing to the gender gap in careers related to these types of disciplines.
“We know that girls and women excel in these subjects because half of the participants in the robotics competition First Lego League they are girls However, they are still underrepresented in classrooms because they are not encouraged to explore these paths from an early age,” said Carolina Texeira, global director of brand marketing, purpose and inclusion at the Lego Group.