The 11 February marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. A milestone adopted in 2013 by the UN General Assembly to recognise that “full and equal access to and participation in science, technology and innovation for women and girls of all ages is imperative for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls”. 

In PREDICT-6G, as could not be otherwise, we join the UN declaration. Our consortium  works towards the advancement of real equality within the academic and scientific world and ultimately, the society.

To understand better why this day is necessary, we refer to some data:

  • According to UIS data, less than 30% of the world’s researchers are women.
  • While women represent 33.3% of all researchers, only 12% of members of national science academies are women, says the UN.
  • According to the UN, female researchers tend to have shorter, less well-paid careers. Their work is underrepresented in high-profile journals and they are often passed over for promotion.

In the European Union, the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) statistics underline the “glass ceiling” continues to be very present. Women in academic and research represent 42% of the total staff and the number only decreases as seniority increases, including the presence of women in decision-making positions. They also receive less research funding, have less papers and inventorships. Contrariwise, women are a majority in terms of part-time and precarious work. 

To celebrate, and also vindicate this day, PREDICT-6G interviewed Carla Fabiana Chiasserini, Full Professor at Politecnico di Torino and our consortium partner. 

Q: What do you like most about your work as a scientist?

A: To be creative, envisioning new solutions. And, before that, to spot interesting aspects and pose problems whose solution can lead to technological advancements and have an impact on our daily life. It is always a challenge, but it’s what makes the work of a scientist exciting.

Q: Who were and are your female referents in the scientific world?

A: I learn something every time I meet and interact with a colleague. That said, I usually have lots to share with female researchers and lots to learn from them, from all of them, they are simply amazing.

Q: What advice would you give to a little girl who wants to pursue a career in science?

A: I can only encourage her to pursue it, and try and explore as many unexplored paths as possible. Not to fear them and not to get discouraged ever, mishaps of any kind are just part of the game.

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