The Canary Islands is assessing the gender gap in science and technology

Javier Ramírez, Doctor of Psychology and Head of the Employment Observatory at the University of La Laguna, presents the results of the Mucica study, at the professional level of young Canarian women.

In conjunction with the celebration of the International Day of Girls in ICT, the Department of Universities, Science, Innovation and Culture of the Government of the Canary Islands presented the first study on the professional level of young Canarian girls in science and technology (MUCICA), the conclusions of which identify factors of interest and help in developing strategies to improve the situation of Women in classrooms and scientific spaces in the Canary Islands.

Javier Ramirez, Doctor of Psychology and Head of the Employment Observatory at the University of La Laguna, says that the results of this pilot study will serve as a reference for progress, in the medium term, in the goal of eliminating the gender gap that exists in the world. Access to careers related to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.

Musica

The MUCICA report analyzes the interest of young Canarian women (15 to 29 years old) in pursuing university studies related to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and was presented by Laura García Donat, coordinator of the Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit at the University of La Laguna, and Javier Ramírez himself.

Analysis of the training stream in public universities and the number of women in research reveals, for example, that women represent 56% of those enrolled in public universities in the Canary Islands, and they have a large and continuous presence, but only in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It represents about 15% or 16%. Women show a greater tendency to enroll in non-STEM fields due to deeply rooted social, cultural, and educational factors.

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There is a significant gender participation gap in STEM programmes, with men having higher transfer rates than women in all courses analysed.

In terms of employment, female university graduates in the Canary Islands, from the first 3 years of graduation, have a higher employment rate compared to men, regardless of field of knowledge.

In research, women show a greater increase in enrollment than men in STEM doctoral programs at both universities.

In addition, there is greater participation of women in STEM doctoral programs than in non-STEM doctoral programs. On the other hand, in the academic field, both universities have more men than women on their faculty. A large proportion of women occupy temporary positions or lower job categories. There is a big difference between the number of men and women who devote themselves to a scientific career, in areas of knowledge related to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Recommendations

It is also important that the feminist references used are not only related to universities or R&D centres, but to the business community, where researchers and technologists also work in STEM fields.

Advocating for the inclusion of a compulsory subject, from an early age, on “Computer Science” in the curricula of primary and secondary schools.

Providing teachers with new teaching methodologies and teaching resources for the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, through the implementation of innovative pedagogical projects or procedures designed and/or validated by research staff from the two Canary universities, allowing to reduce biases and teach more comprehensive, individual or collaborative topics. How to solve scientific and mathematical problems.

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Raising families’ awareness of the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions and the importance of facilitating and motivating access to them for girls and young women, and holding awareness days.

Promoting participation in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through extracurricular or summer courses and activities, to activate mechanisms of self-confidence, self-awareness, and passion for these fields in girls and young women, especially mathematics and science.

Demonstrate the importance of the personality of Canarian women in the field of science and technology through projects or actions that cover the entire academic year and whose action plan is linked to the content of the curricula in primary, secondary, secondary and vocational schools.

Myrtle Frost

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