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180 scientists talk to 15,000 schoolchildren about importance of women in science

The second edition of the '100tífiques' initiative aims to get young people, especially girls, interested in a scientific career

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11 February 2020 01:56 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

More than 15,000 schoolchildren took part in the second edition of the '100tífiques' initiative, which aims to encourage young people, especially girls, to consider scientific and technical vocations.

The headquarters of the Catalan Institute for Chemical Research (ICIQ) in Tarragona played host to the main event of '100tífiques' in front of about 150 students aged 11 to 13. It was one of 166 simultaneous events across Catalonia on Tuesday, with 180 female scientists visiting schools to mark the 5th International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

According to UNESCO, only 37% of women choose to pursue STEM careers, that is, in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. In addition, the gender gap grows when you look at positions of responsibility and leadership, with only 15% of women in some fields.

Gender stereotypes

One of the main goals of the day is to break down gender stereotypes.

Lucía Morán, PhD in Computational Chemistry at ICIQ, lamented the fact that women are often "relegated" to men, but has hopes for a paradigm shift. "In recent years, a lot of women have come to the area of computing, which is very masculine, and those barriers are breaking down," she said.

Núria Bayó, head of academic programs at the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), wants to dispel the myth that researchers can often be "slightly crazy and lonely". Bayó said that half of the postdoctoral researchers at BIST are women, but that when you look at team leaders, this figure drops to 15%. "Maternity can be an important factor,” said Bayó, but she also lamented the existing "systemic" gender issues, when it comes to interviews, publications and scholarships.

'100tífiques' is organized by the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRi) and the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), in collaboration with the Department of Education.

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  • A group of girls listen to a talk during the '100tífiques' initiative at ICIQ headquarters in Tarragona,  February 11, 2020 (by Roger Segura)

  • A group of girls listen to a talk during the '100tífiques' initiative at ICIQ headquarters in Tarragona, February 11, 2020 (by Roger Segura)

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