ICTA-UAB researcher Martí Boada has been awarded the Felip Domènech i Costafreda National Prize 2018 by the Unió de Pagesos in recognition of his scientific work and dedication defending agriculture as a key piece of environmental management in Catalonia. Read more
Presentation of the WONNOW Awards in recognition of female excellence in technology careers
CaixaBank and Microsoft presented at the UAB the WONNOW Awards, a series of awards for female students in their last year of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers in universities across Spain. Candidates can submit their applications until 30 June through the website www.WonnowAwards.com.
The awards presentation included the participation of Cristina González, Commercial Director of CaixaBank in Barcelona; Óscar Sanz, Director of Education at Microsoft Spain and Margarita Arboix, Rector of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, who hosted the event. Also attending the presentation were Daniel Franco, Director of the School of Engineering and engineering students Ariadna Sendra, Nilai Sallent, Maria Tomàs and Clara Tortajada.
The WONNOW awards are an initiative which searches for talent and aims to foster diversity and the presence of women in the field of technology and science a since the beginning of their professional career. All female students enrolled in the last year of any of the STEM careers in 84 universities across Spain can present their candidature.
The awards include 11 mentions for the best students in Spain. On the one hand, a cash prize of 10,000 Euros will be awarded to the student with the best academic performance. And on the other hand, 10 students will be offered a paid grant to work at CaixaBank. Students will sign a six-month work placement contract with the possibility of staying on with the company. They will also benefit from a mentoring programme offered by Microsoft, in which they would be assessed on aspects related to the development of their professional career in the tech industry.
As CaixaBank's commercial director for Barcelona Cristina González pointed out, “these awards aim to be a recognition of both the academic and personal excellence of women studying technical degrees, studies which are increasingly essential for the development of our society, but in which the presence of women is still low. The initiative forms part of our company's commitment to its surroundings, socially responsible and contributing to the development of individuals and the society in general”.
Óscar Sanz Martín, Director of Education at Microsoft, emphasised that “transmitting to youth a passion for technology and awakening their curiosity for the world of science will help more women access the ICT industry, fundamental in guaranteeing Spain's long-term competitiveness. With the joint creation of the WONNOW Awards together with CaixaBank, we aim to contribute to this objective by acknowledging great talents, giving visibility to women models in the STEM sector and fostering diversity in the tech industry”.
Margarita Arboix, Rector of the UAB, praised the creation of these awards, which demonstrate a commitment “to helping reach equality and excellence among our universities' women students. The grants and aids are essential in the support of research and quality, and such a motivation is significant, but we must continue to demand more from society and businesses, which must also follow this path. We must work firmly for a knowledge society and economy in which women are prepared to face all types of challenges, because these are exactly what will help us all to respond to the demands of society," she stated.
All those interested in signing up to participate in this initiative can submit their application at the website: http://www.WonnowAwards.com. Deadline for applications is 30 June.
In addition to each student's academic performance, their personal experience will also be taken into account. The application form includes questions on personal achievements in order to learn more about each student's profile. They will also need to submit their CV and their most recent average score. The list of winners will be made public in September.
With this programme, CaixaBank and Microsoft aim to foster diversity in a key sector by recognising the excellence of women students enrolled in STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). The mission of this cross-curricular project is to value the efforts and commitments of women opting for these types of studies.
The values of social commitment, equality and excellence, which both companies uphold, are reflected in this initiative, which aims to be held each year. Through the project, both entities confirm their commitment to gender equality in important work and professional sectors.
According to analyses by the OECD, only one in three graduates in engineering and approximately one in five computer graduates are women. In Spain, according to data from the Ministry for Education, Culture and Sport, only one in every four engineering students are women.
After completing their studies in a science or technology field, the OECD indicates that 71% of male graduates work in STEM careers, in contrast to only 43% of women. In OECD countries, 13.7% of patents registered are done by women inventors.
This situation contrasts greatly with the high demand of STEM professionals all across the European Union. It is estimated that in 2020 there will be 756,000 empty job positions in the information and communication technologies' sector. The equality between men and women in the digital industry would permit raising the European Union's GDP by 9 billion Euros annually. Encouraging women interested in STEM careers thus would help to close the gender gap existing in the science and technology sector.
Rector Margarita Arboix will accept the prize on 15 October in a ceremony held for the National Research Prizes 2017. The event will take place at the National Theatre of Catalonia and will be presided by President Quim Torra. Read more