Presentation of the International Congress "Equality, science and technology. For a paradigm shift."
The Basque Government Minister for Equality, Justice and Social Policies Nerea Melgosa, and the Director of Emakunde (the Basque Institute for Women) Miren Elgarresta, have presented the International Congress “"Equality, science and technology. For a paradigm shift” to be held on October 23 and 24 at the Miramar Palace in Donostia-San Sebastian; they were accompanied at the CIC nanoGUNE center by the Director of nanoGUNE Txema Pitarke and the Director of Digital Identity of the University of Deusto Lorena Fernández. The Lehendakari (President of the Basque Government) Iñigo Urkullu will be inaugurating a congress set to bring together international experts with a view to addressing existing inequalities and gender gaps and the transformations needed to systemically incorporate equality between women and men in the field of science and technology.
The Minister stressed that the gender gap in the field of science and technology is not just about the reduced presence and visibility of women in this field alone, but also about the conception of it that is still androcentric; she added that a paradigm shift is therefore required to ensure that equality is incorporated in a systemic way. “It is also about analyzing how science and technology can contribute to the equality of women and men,” she pointed out.
Miren Elgarresta, the director of Emakunde, stressed the following as the objectives of the congress: “to analyze the regulatory framework, public policies and challenges of science and technology from the perspective of equality; to provide specific tools designed to incorporate the gender perspective into the daily practice of the organizations involved; to foster the recognition of the role of women in science and technology and their scientific vocation, and an egalitarian, inclusive, safe and accessible digital transformation for women; to address the influence exerted by the prevailing model of masculinity on the very notion of scientific excellence, as well as the role of boys and men as key players for change towards equality in this field; and to make proposals for the future that seek the commitment of all the players involved”.
Lorena Fernández pointed out that the latest CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) report on Women Researchers reveals a disparate evolution in the scientific careers of women and men. In the pre-doctoral research stage, men account for 48.6% and women for 51.4%. However, as their careers progress, men account for 73.8% in the highest category, while women represent only 26.2%. This same pattern is repeated in the Euskadi (Basque Country) Science Report 2022, where more women are found embarking on their scientific careers, but this figure falls as they advance through the ranks.
Finally, Txema Pitarke, director of nanoGUNE, stressed that “in research we are facing a structural problem in the field of gender equality, which requires a thorough analysis of the situation, and this congress offers us a great opportunity to work in collaboration and establish alliances within the framework of the countrywide pact for equality”.
The program has been designed by a scientific committee made up of representatives of the research centers CFM, CIC nanoGUNE, CIC biomaGUNE, POLYMAT, Achucarro, Elhuyar, the UPV/EHU and DEUSTO universities, and Ikerbasque, working closely with Emakunde.
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Updated program information: Program