SciDF@Bars – Women in science

Scientists Dating Forum held an event about women in science last Thursday, 16th February, at ArteSants bar (Barcelona).

Three speakers were invited to talk about the role of women in science. Then, all attendees worked in groups on different case studies to analyse the situation and find possible improvements.

As a young, fresh and responsible association, SciDF joined the celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science (February 11th). On February 16th, we put together three scientists in ArteSants bar to talk and debate about women and girls in science in front of 70-80 people. The event started with a roundtable and finished with participative case studies in a relaxed environment.

Tània Verge, from the Department of Social and Political Science of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, shared data related to the presence of women in different academic levels —from undergraduate to rector— in Spain and other countries. The higher the position, the fewer women there are. The numbers follow a scissors graph. Why does this happen?

Tania Verge, Marta Casanellas Rius and Olga López Serrano discussing the topic

Marta Casanellas Rius, president of the Comisión de Mujeres y Matemáticas of the Real Sociedad Matemática Española, asked a question: Have women the same opportunities than men in science? Through different studies and examples, she concluded that the answer is no. Moreover, she pointed out some tricky aspects such as maternity leave, which has some effects on the career opportunities for women.

In order to end the first part of the event, Olga López Serrano, co-founder and scientific director of Bicosome and researcher at IQAC-CSIC, focused on the private sector and how curriculums and jobs are influenced by gender. In front of a same CV, there is a tendency to hire men over women.

Afterwards, complex questions were debated, including the relation between social or biological differences in maternity and how it affects society or how gender inequality is related to other differences, such as religion, country of origin, disability… We would like to highlight that there were a lot of questions and a high participation from both women and men.

Finally, the audience worked on a case study. They were split into four groups: academia, industry, government and school. Each group discussed how to improve the situation of women in their context. The event ended with some conclusions and ideas, such as that one of the aim for women is to be more cited; also, to that maternity and paternity policies should be more equal and fair for both parents, or that it would be a good idea to create some postdoc fellowships for women.

Roger Tarrés

Photos about this event in our album on Facebook.