conference - Women in science

EIT co-hosts 'Women and Science: in education, research and business' in Budapest

Recently, the EIT took part in a day long conference on "Women and Science: in education, research and business", hosted at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

The conference, organised by the French Institute and French Embassy with the support of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and in partnership with the Polish institute, the German Embassy and the Czech Centre,  brought together 20 speakers from France, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland, to discuss the following questions:

  1. What role can the education system play in making science more attractive to women, and what do associations do to that effect?
  2. What are the challenges, in the field of academia, for women seeking to establish themselves as scientific researchers?
  3. What is the economic case for a greater participation of women in science, and how can business harness the potential of women as scientists and managers.

The conference sought to identify the reasons behind the continuous low level of involvement of women in scientific disciplines (be it as researchers, managers, heads of institutions, etc), and to encourage a discussion of some of the initiatives that have been put in place to foster a more balanced participation of women in science.

Martin Kern, EIT Interim Director opened the conference with László Lovász, president of the Academy of Sciences. Speaking on behalf of the entire EIT Community of innovators and entrepreneurs, Martin emphasised the concrete steps (starting with a monitoring of gender indicators) that can be taken towards improving the current deficit in both the participation, and the recognition, of women as researchers, managers and entrepreneurs.

In the three years since the EIT started developing programmes on the issue of women entrepreneurship and leadership much progress has been achieved. This is a positive sign that the situation is beginning to improve. 

The conference then proceeded into three round table discussions on women entrepreneurship. Laurent Roux, the Entrepreneurship Officer of the EIT and lead on Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership activities, presented a number of the initiatives currently being developed by the EIT at a national and European level. These included workshops on technology, innovation and digitization for school-age girls, meetings with women leaders and entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurship awards.

The conference was covered by mainstream national media, and was widely advertised throughout Budapest.




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