The field of Science and Technology is, still today, predominantly male. Women make up 53% of university graduates in Spain, but only represent 18.6% of graduates in technological studies , according to data from the Spanish Ministry of Education.
What happens in the classroom is also reflected in companies: in Europe, only 30% of those who work in the information and communication technology sector are women (Eurostat).
To contribute to a greater female presence in classrooms and companies in STEAM areas (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics), we want to inspire by showing the examples of five women who work at the European University. The inspiration invites us to grow, to try and improve ourselves get up when we fall. Many women have been and are a source of inspiration for other women, and also for men.
MARIA CRUZ GAYA LOPEZ
Graduated in Computer Science from the University of Granada and director of the Applied Information Technologies program at the European University. She is currently a tenured professor in the Department of Sciences and ICT, and director of postgraduate courses at the STEAM School.
“I believe that the situation of women in the technological sectors should be changed, an education and customs that are still well established in society today should be changed. Girls must be shown the profession through playful workshops in schools from primary school (with programming of robots and construction of models, for example), in addition to giving visibility to the leaders of women in technology. ”
“There are women who have been a reference for me. For example, Hedy Lamarr. He invented a technique for modulating signals in the spread spectrum that is considered key to the further development of technologies such as Bluetooth and WIFi. For this she had to overcome a marriage arranged by her parents and combine it with her prolific life as an actress ”.
Ada Lovelace developed in the 19th century what is considered by many to be the first computer program for the Babbage machine. And Jude Milhon was one of the founders of the first association for the defense of digital privacy back in the 70’s ”.
Graduated in Technical Architecture from the University of Alcalá de Henares and graduated in Building Engineering from the European University. Director of the Master’s Degree in International Building and Construction Management .
“The important thing is to do what really motivates and fascinates you. I don’t think that studying engineering is a question of gender or even talent, but rather the capacity for effort and motivation. ”
“More and more, thanks undoubtedly to the perseverance and struggle of previous generations, women are much more present in engineering, science and technology. This means that little by little our presence is normalizing, and that when deciding or imagining a future, girls or adolescents already have references in their mind. In addition, studies related to the STEAM field have the advantage of surviving different crises quite well. For example, at the moment, thanks to science, we are better facing a situation of major health crisis ”.
SILVIA WASHED ANGUERA
Industrial engineer, specialized in Mechanics, and graduated in Business Management and Creation. She is currently a professor of aerospace and industrial engineering at the European University.
Silvia believes that there are many reasons to choose a STEM career. “For example, in Engineering, due to the international projection it offers, the possibility of leading teams and the salary conditions”.
“The motivation of high school students to choose this type of higher education is fundamental, and for this it is important that they see representation of women in all areas.”
“It is important that there are more women in leadership positions in all areas, especially in science and technology, since if this does not happen we are losing talent that society needs.”
“We are in a moment of exponential technological advancement and the entire society must be represented so that these advances truly respond to our needs. If I had to stay with three women who represented diversity, I would highlight Elizabeth Nyanmayaro (head of HeForShe at the United Nations), Katherine Johnson (NASA scientist), and Katherine Louise Bouman (MIT scientist who took the first photo of a black hole ) “.
Computer Engineer and Master MBA in Business Administration. He currently leads the Student Experience area in the Online Operations area of ??the European University.
“Science and technology are the key to the economic and social transformation we are experiencing. STEM degrees will prepare you for the jobs of the future and will be engines of development and innovation. And there is a great opportunity for women to participate and lead that transformation ”.
“I believe that it is not about convincing the girls, but about them being aware that they are not male disciplines and that their capacities are the same as theirs. It is difficult to break the barrier that relates these professions to the male sphere. Prejudices and social norms limit girls, but with effort and work they can get where they want. ”
“I believe that it is up to us, the parents of these women of the future, and to society in general, to empower girls, recognize them as valid, not limit their capacities and stop contributing to perpetuate gender roles. For their part, educational institutions should promote these scientific vocations from the earliest ages to ensure that they are incorporated naturally into these areas ”.
ROSARIO GÓMEZ DE MERODIO
“Society is increasingly aware that science and technology careers are the future, and an indispensable component in the training of any person. For this reason, women have to be there, we have to be the protagonists of this development, opt for those positions and salaries, and assert ourselves ”.
“There are many women who inspire me. Take Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman to travel into space aboard Discovery. Or of course Greta Thunberg, and everything she is doing to raise awareness among generations. In the industrial area, the current CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra, would highlight “