"Awareness of the gender gap is a first step that must be followed by concrete actions not only within our universities, but also in a global context. The importance of building networks, like ENHANCE, and joining common causes increases our ability to influence decision makers "
Pro-rector Donatella Sciuto comments on the result of the first annual report on diversity and gender equality within ENHANCE , the alliance formed in starting from 2020 from 7 universities of excellence (including Politecnico) that wishes to promote gender equality and diversity within higher education institutions.
You can read the report here. The reports highlights the potential of the universities involved in making academic opportunities accessible to all and promoting inclusion and equal opportunities as main values in their strategies.
There are three main objectives of the report, which allow to identify the common challenges to be faced and to monitor the improvements brought about by the implemented actions:
- encourage and support students and young female researchers with fewer opportunities to successfully undertake and complete a STEM degree program, as well as to participate in mobility projects;
- offer empowerment tools to under-represented and disadvantaged groups;
- develop training resources related to diversity and gender equality to be used in higher education institutions, promoting awareness of these issues.
“Although the female population is under-represented in many of the activities carried out at our universities, the ENHANCE initiatives have achieved noteworthy gender parity, with 54% male participation and 46% female participation”.
explains Melih Özkardes, who coordinates the working group dedicated to Diversity and Gender Equality within ENHANCE. And he adds:
"Awareness of diversity and gender equality in a group increases the chances of developing innovative ideas and allows you to work in a climate of greater well-being".
In order to learn about, cultivate and enhance the diversity of the polytechnic community, the University in recent years has developed various initiatives that are fully integrated into the vision supported by Enhance.
Among these, there is the POP - Pari Politecnico Opportunities , the strategic program with which the Politecnico di Milano is committed to guaranteeing a study and work environment that respects gender identities, different abilities, cultures and backgrounds. The POP program is developed along 5 strategic lines of action : gender identity, culture, nation and religion, sexual orientation, different abilities and psychological well-being.
Within the POP, there are also initiatives to promote STEM subjects among high school girls , such as Girls @ Polimi , scholarships for future students enrolled in engineering courses with low percentage of women (Mechanics, Electronics and Computer Science), which make 8000 euros available to deserving candidates each, repeatable for the three years of the degree , in addition to free accommodation.
EnginHERing is aimed instead to high school students, to bring female students closer to the choice of engineering faculty through the passionate words and experiences of female students , researchers and Alumnae of the Polytechnic tell us about the still little explored reality of engineers.
Credits header e home: Martin Braun