B4W Program Connects Women Researchers with Women Leaders
On October 8th, the BSC-Repsol building was inaugurated, and within the framework of the event, the B4W program organized an activity to give voice and visibility to BSC personnel, especially its women researchers and technicians. The main goal of the activity was to connect BSC staff with women leaders in various fields of research, business, and politics, among others. The objective was to change the existing perspective and perception towards women leaders, learn from them how they have developed their professional career, and provide references to the researchers of the center. The event also aimed to create a community within the BSC staff and make the B4W program known internally, and collect their concerns regarding the development of the professional career of women or other issues of their interest.
The following women leaders participated in the event:
The invitation was sent from the Communication department to all BSC staff, and a total of 28 women and 2 men participated, representing various departments such as Life Sciences, Earth Sciences, Computer Sciences, CASE, PMO, and Administration.
The activity was divided into several tables, where participants discussed various topics, including the importance of including the perspective of sex and gender in the analysis of data and projects in science, the influence of political interests on scientific research, professional development opportunities outside academia, and the impact of motherhood on women’s careers in science. Other discussions revolved around the need to involve men in debates about gender equality, the situation of women in the BSC workplace, the prejudices women face in technical careers, and the importance of having female scientific and technological references. This is the summary of the topics discussed:
- The importance of including the perspective of sex and gender in data analysis and scientific projects and the need to include it in funding for science.
- The scientific conditioning subordinated to political interests and the conditioning of research through funding.
- The career prospects beyond the academic trajectory, the possibilities of professional development in the public sector, the existing problems in hiring and the prospects of professional growth.
- The impact of motherhood on women’s careers, the loss of opportunities to progress with far-reaching consequences, particularly in the scientific field, where the maximum productivity and critical points for career advancement usually coincide around the optimal age to have children.
- The need to include and involve men in activities and debates, as they are generally excluded from the topic but have a lot to contribute.
- The situation of women, in particular, at BSC and their presence in the engineering world.
- The need for inspiring women scientists and technologists to serve as role models.
- The existing prejudices against women in technical careers and the need to build a support network to tackle them, along with tools to overcome sexist situations. The lack of knowledge about existing channels to report cases of abuse/discrimination and the decision that is often made to “endure it” until obtaining a PhD and leaving. Unfortunately, this situation is repeated in the scientific field due to the lack of support tools that perpetuate unacceptable behaviors.
The activity organized by the B4W program successfully connected women researchers and technicians with women leaders, promoting open and stimulating conversations, and providing a platform to discuss various issues related to gender equality and women’s career development. The event highlighted the need for more support and resources to help women overcome the challenges they face in their professional careers and achieve their full potential. The participants left the event with new perspectives and ideas on how to address the challenges facing women in science and technology.