British Council initiative to offer mentoring activities for STEM students
On this International Women’s Day (Mar 8), a new project brings PUCRS, UFRGS and King’s College London (UK), together. The idea is to encourage more women to pursue a career in science. Women have been gaining space in the most varied academic areas in recent years. However, we are still underrepresented in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The inclusion of women in STEM is one of the goals of UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, with a new vision on current social and economic issues. From a scientific perspective, the inclusion of women “promotes scientific excellence and boosts the quality of STEM results, since different approaches add creativity, reduce potential biases, and promote knowledge and more robust solutions” according to the organization’s official website. Women in Science (Mulheres na Ciência) is a British Council program seeking to strengthen connections with women in science in Brazil and the UK at the individual and institutional levels to transform patterns of influence and strengthen leadership and gender schemes in the exact sciences.
The watchword is: opportunity. STEM areas represent one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy and job market in the world. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (USA) predict that the statistics, software development and math businesses will grow 34%, 31% and 30% through 2026, respectively. A study conducted by the Brazilian Association of Information and Communication Technology Companies (Brasscom) shows that Brazil should have a demand for 797,000 technology professionals by 2025.
To promote sustainable development, drive innovation, social wellness and inclusive growth. Companies with greater gender diversity are 21% more likely to be productive. When there is ethnic diversity, the rate rises to 33% (data from McKinsey and CO, 2018).
The project is scheduled to be launched in April with the website that will present the career of women scientists from the three institutions. Additionally, the program will be open for registration and women applicants will have the chance to enjoy the events promoted by the project.