- Within the framework of the Ada Byron Award 2023, Mexico chapter, the panel “Main challenges faced by women in science and technology” was held, in which eight professionals showcased their experience and knowledge gained throughout their distinguished careers in almost exclusively visible settings. for men.
Education and empowerment are key tools that women have today to combat gender inequality and thereby break down stereotypes in science and technology.
The only limit is in each and you should not let yourself be defeated by prejudices and social conventions. Not easy, but doable, reported Jesuit University of Guadalajara this is an explanation.
The Ada Byron Award 2023, hosted by ITESO this year, within the framework of the Mexico section, covers mechanics, systems, industry, industry, electronics, communication; biomedicine and biotechnology have showcased their experience and knowledge gained during their distinguished careers in settings that are almost exclusively for men.
The participants are an example of excellence in what they do, but also of resilience. Many have expressed their desire to study one of these careers for the first time, criticized and censored by their family and friends. Others work in predominantly male environments who find it difficult to trust and work with women. They were the least fortunate and supported and recognized for their efforts along the way.
The virtual chat was moderated by Gabriela Calvario Sánchez, a professor in the Department of Electronics, Systems and Informatics at ITESO (DESI). The prejudices that perpetuate the false belief that the so-called rigorous sciences are reserved for men still persist: “The persistence of this system has caused many young women to quit or not consider the possibility of committing to them. Because we have outstanding women in this forum, in academia, and in major cutting-edge and technological innovation companies. we are lucky”.
According to Elizabeth Hernández, of Tecnológico del Valle de Chalco and a Computer Science graduate, the main challenge he has to overcome is definitely gender inequality: “When I started working, they always said: ‘We need a support engineer to fix us. mail’. I said, ‘I know how to do it, I know how to fix it, but no…’ “Even though I did the same job, they paid me less because I had a computer science degree, not an engineer,” he said.
“Since our childhood, I understood that we have made this difference. I found myself in this cliché where technologies are for men, everything about networks, where the culture we have developed in shapes us as caregivers, mothers, who dedicate ourselves to domestic activities (…). I felt limited and signed up until I realized this was what I wanted”.
UNESCO points out that only 30 percent of students pursuing higher education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are women, and in particular only three percent are associated with Information Technology and Communications (ICT).
Claudia Sándigo, a project manager at Bosch, explains that she faced difficulties while studying for her diploma: “There were teachers who told me that women shouldn’t be in electronics, they should be in the kitchen, and they said that one way or another, I wouldn’t graduate. However, I was quite stubborn and did not quit what I was doing. I didn’t let any of these comments limit me.”
“Women don’t take the next step because we think we don’t have enough skills or enough knowledge. Men have this self-confidence. We must motivate other women who are on this path to believe that it is possible,” added the engineer.
Rosa María Rivas, a PhD from Ibero Puebla and in Chemical Engineering, said she had never considered studying engineering. It was complicated to even dare to think about it: “The simple fact of going to the window and saying that I wanted to study Mechanical Engineering was not easy, it was neither normal nor everyday. They were not happy. Instead they said: ‘This girl is a little weird. What motivated me to keep going is that whenever I faced this kind of setback, I found something in my career, in my classes, in my teachers, that filled me so much that it was unquestionable that I wanted to continue. ” .
Myriam Jiménez, from Ibero León and a teacher in the Department of Applied Science and Design of Virtual Educational Projects, reported that when she was a student, she visited a very large company with her classmates as part of her internship, the guide said, After the Tour, they had a policy of not hiring female engineers on that floor.
Overall, the eight panelists agreed that it is necessary to work hard for gender equality in the fields of science and technology, but after all and years of experience, they expressed their hopes and called for more young people to simply choose women. What they will devote themselves to in life to not be afraid, to find what each one likes to do, and to be faithful to it.
“When you do what you love, all these obstacles gradually and very simply disappear. For me, studying engineering was the best thing that could have happened to me. I feel very satisfied with having done this and still doing what I am doing. I know I can still do more and I am happy about it. There will be many obstacles. The important thing is to see what we really want, to be true to what we want and to listen to ourselves,” said Rosa María.
According to Martha Aceves Rosales, executive and computer, industrial and systems engineer at AstraZeneca, knowledge is essential to make it easier than ever for women to be a part of these industries: “Those who come must be told to believe in them. The competition is with yourself, nothing more. See that being a woman is an advantage. The most important thing is to get where you want. We have to strengthen ourselves.”
Irma Wilde López, vice president and general manager of Customer and Business Services and biomedical engineer at AT&T Mexico, insisted that the sky is the limit for each: “You have to believe it, we’ll make mistakes, we’ll fail, and that’s where the most important learning comes from. “It liberates us no matter what he thinks of us. An important part is always having a mentor.”
The panel was also attended by chemical engineer Violeta Juárez Jáuregui from Ibero Torreón and Rosa Mariana Mora Moreno, engineering coordinator of SCA Real Estate.
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