The underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and careers in the EU has negative impacts on women as well as the whole society. In a report steered through the European Parliament by Renew Europe MEP Susana Solis Perez, we today call on the EU institutions and Member States to address this issue in their educational and labour systems.
”As an engineer, I was very disappointed to see that the number of women in STEM education remains almost the same as when I was studying. What worries me the most is that if we don´t turn around these numbers women will not take part in the design of technologies that will shape our future and will not be present in the green transition”, says MEP Susana Solis Perez, rapporteur of the report.
She continues: ”If the COVID crisis has taught us something, it’s the importance of science and research to overcome the global problem. Without science, we will not find an answer. And, without women, the future will once again be shaped by men, for men.”
We must make sure women take part in the design of technologies that will shape our future. The barriers that women and girls face to develop the skills needed to become shapers of the EU’s scientific development and new technologies must be dismantled. Especially within the field of Artificial Intelligence, where the lack of women risks creating biases.
Removing barricades, fighting harmful gender stereotypes and enchaining access to STEM education and jobs is also a matter of creating economic benefits. Research from the European Institute for Gender Equality shows that closing the gender gap in STEM education could generate economic growth with up to 1,2 million new jobs and an increased GDP of up to EUR 820 billion by 2050.
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