Despite pandemic and the restrictions for health reasons, the University of Vigo made a firm commitment for trying to maintain the celebration of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which is commemorated on february 11. Thus, the Informative talks by different researchers who had been organizing within the Initiative 11 F in educational centre throughout Galicia, the talks and visits that the Marine Research Centre (CIM) carried out in its facilities, and the traditional workshops of “Elas Fan” CienTec, will pass to be held virtually.
Activities developed from the CIM
CIM will organize online activities for secondary school students, both raptors and girls, from different educational centres throughout Galicia. The program will take place on the 12th and will feature, on the one hand, with the Faraxa Association, which will reflect on the need for 11F and, on the other, with the director of the UVigo Research area, Ana Bernabeu, who will present the indicators of equality in the educational institution and in the CIM and will explain her personal experience. In addition, the participating student will be able to make a virtual visit to the CIM, learn about the main milestones of some women scientists in history and about some researchers of the CIM through a game, and participate in debates on all that they have learned.
In addition, throughout the month of February, a total of 8 researchers will offer 6 virtual talks to 6 educational centres throughout Galicia about their work and about the role of women in science and technology. The researchers will connect virtually with schoolchildren of different ages, presenting their work, proposing materials and games to make visible the role of women in science, awaken scientific vocations among girls and raise awareness about the current situation of gender inequality. These activities are part of the February 11 Initiative, which is organized at the national level on the occasion of this anniversary. All these activities have the support of the Unit for Scientific Culture and Innovation of the University of Vigo in their management.
Segregation in science and academia
All these activities, which the UVigo teachers and researchers organize on the occasion of 11-F, seek to give visibility to the work of women in these fields, to show secondary school girls examples of women who develop their professional careers in the field of science and engineering and awaken vocations in these fields, especially masculinized. As the director of the UVigo Equality Unit, Águeda Gómez, explains, “in science and in academia there is a vertical and horizontal segregation based on sex, which is sufficient in the fact that, for example, STEAM degrees , those that are key in the jobs of the future, are the most paid and have a high social status, they lack a broad female presence ”. This, she adds, will result in the medium term “in increasing the impoverishment of women. Today poverty has the face of a woman and if we do not change this trend, this will worsen in the future”.
For all this, the person in charge of Equality at UVigo highlights the need to carry out this type of activity and maintain it, despite the covid-19, even if it is in virtual format. With this respect, the Vice-Rector for Communication and Institutional Relations, Mónica Valderrama, recalls that the University has tools such as Remote Campus with which “we are trying to ensure that this unfavorable situation does not produce very negative effects on the activities that are developed to continue fulfilling the objectives established”.