Nearly 500 women researchers promote new scientific role models in 4th edition of #100tífiques

By February 11, 2022BIST

• On February 11, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, 476 women scientists will give talks in 427 schools simultaneously throughout Catalonia, as part of a mega-event combining face-to-face and virtual formats. The aim is to foster scientific and technical vocations among children in Catalonia.

• The initiative is organised by the Fundació Catalana per a la Recerca i la Innovació (FCRI) and the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), with collaboration from the Generalitat de Catalunya’s Department of Education. The event highlights the strategic role women play in science today, and creates a network among women scientists in academia and business.

The fourth edition of the #100tífiques initiative is held today, in the framework of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This mega-event aims to foster scientific and technical vocations among girls and boys and to create a network of women researchers from the public and private sector. Organised by the Fundació Catalana per a la Recerca i la Innovació (FCRI) and the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), in collaboration with the Generalitat de Catalunya’s Department of Education, #100tífiques will include simultaneous talks (at 11.00 a.m.) by 476 women researchers from Catalan companies, research centres, and universities. The event will reach nearly 40,000 students in the 6th year of primary school and 1st year of secondary school in 427 schools throughout Catalonia.

According to UNESCO, only 28% of the world’s researchers and 35% of STEAM students are women. The European average for women researchers is 33% and the proportion of women PhDs in STEM fields in the EU is 37.1%. In Catalonia, only 20% of professors and 21% of CERCA centre directors are women. As Science magazine showed in a 2017 benchmark study, gender stereotypes related to science appear early in school, with girls considering themselves less bright than boys starting from the age of six.

The most recent data show a persisting trend. According to the TIMSS 2019 International Report, conducted by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) and Boston College, girls in 4th grade of primary school are currently performing 15 points below boys in mathematics and science in Spain.

In light of this, #100tífiques aims to highlight the ongoing importance and strategic role of women in science and technology, both in the public and the private research sector. It also aims to break gender stereotypes by motivating girls in particular to study science and engineering. Its format is conducive to building connections and collaborations among women scientists in the public and private sectors, as well as those in business and policy. Moreover, those that are part of the #100tífiques community share good practices for working towards gender equality in their field.

Of the 476 researchers, 346 come from public research organisations, 20% from the seven BIST centres, and 130 from companies and other private entities (HP; Menarini Group; Boehringer Ingelheim; B. Braun; BASF; Allianz; Alcon; Aguas de Barcelona, Provital Group; Lipotec, Werfen and Eurecat).

A growing event

The #100tífiques programme has grown from 115 women researchers and 103 schools in its first edition in 2019 to 181 women scientists and technologists and 240 schools in 2020, and to 489 women researchers and 457 schools in 2021. This growth, which is expected to continue in 2022, has also led to a five-fold multiplication of the programme’s social impact; In 2019, the #100tífiques talks reached 6,500 girls and boys, while in 2021 the audience exceeded 34,000 students from the 6th grade of primary school to 1st year of ESO, a figure that is expected to be equalled in this year’s edition.

Read the full press release (in Catalan) here.