Gender STI Project in 2021: A Year in Review

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Tackling gender equality in science, technology, and innovation is no easy task. Nonetheless, when we launched the Gender STI project a year ago, right in the middle of a global pandemic, we were undeterred. This was important to every one of us, and we wanted to do our best to ensure our research made a difference.

Although the pandemic has changed the way execute our project, it has not changed its primary goal: to analyze the participation of women in STI international cooperation agreements. We still have a lot of research left to do, but we’re happy to say that this first year has allowed us to build a solid foundation and get off to a good start.

Here are some of the highlights of the Gender STI project this year:

  • Launch of #WomenInScience campaign: For the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we created and launched a #WomenInScience campaign. We spoke to researchers and experts about the low numbers of women in STI and what we need to do to encourage women and girls to pursue scientific careers.
  • Launch of #WomenInLeadership campaign: Shortly after, we launched a #WomenInLeadership campaign to celebrate women leaders in STI for International Women’s Day. We featured 22 extraordinary women leaders from across the globe who are making a difference in their communities and fields. You can check out the lessons they taught us here.
  • Organization of workshop on “Integrating the Gender Perspective in STI” at IEEE BHI – BSN 2021: We were proud to put a spotlight on gender equality in STI at the renowned IEEE BHI – BSN conference in the U.S. Our workshop featured top women scientists, policy experts, and higher education professionals from multiple continents and addressed challenges associated with integrating the gender perspective in STI as well as work towards gender equality.
  • Completion of the “Survey on Gender Equality Implementation in STI Bilateral and Multilateral Agreements”: In 2021, we carried out our first major research activity when we launched our survey on gender equality in international cooperation agreements between Europe and third countries. The survey allowed us to gain important insights on what issues are important in the fight for gender equality and how priorities may differ according to region. You can read our full report here.
  • Launch of the project’s first Co-Design Labs: We were thrilled to welcome experts, researchers, company representatives, funding agencies, consulting companies, and universities to our first Co-Design Labs. The event analyzed the biggest issues facing women in three key focus areas: scientific careers, decision-making, and the gender perspective in research and innovation content.
  • Creation of the Gender STI Community of Practice: All participants from the Co-Design Labs were invited to join the project’s Community of Practice, which aims to promote gender equality in STI in participants’ organizations and countries.
  • Publication of the project’s first Co-Design Lab prototypes: Furthermore, we have published the prototypes developed by participants of the Co-Design Labs and submitted them to the European Commission for review.

We can’t wait to see what our project will accomplish in 2022. This is only the beginning. Stay tuned.

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