They have been arguing for 15 years that restrictions are on us. The next issue of the “Girls in Technology Universities” campaign – Wprost

On April 7-8, 17 Polish technical universities will hold a “National Open Day for Girls”, which aims to encourage high school students in technical and scientific education. Isn’t this the 15th time that the Girls in Polytechnic campaign has been persuaded that previous editions of the campaign have been ineffective, as ten and a half years have passed since persuading girls to study at the Polytechnic?

Dr. Bianca Siwińska, the campaign’s initiator, argues that the allegations are baseless.

– 15 years ago, there were faculties where not a single woman studied. Today there are no such departments. The share of women in polytechnics has increased by 10% over the past 15 years. Today, women make up 40 percent. Technical university students and statistics are concerned about the economics and management choices offered at polytechnic universities as well. In recent publications, we emphasize not only encouraging women to study at technical universities, but also encouraging them to study serious technical fields, including IT-related fields, as women are still a minority in new technologies, said Wprost, president of the campaign’s Perspektywy Education Foundation. In an interview with Bianca Siwńska.

Restrictions are in place

He added that the purpose of the campaign is also to convince girls that they do not need to be geniuses to start technical research. Various studies conducted by the Foundation under his leadership show that many high school students believe that only the best students with above-average cognitive abilities can apply to a technical university. Boys do not have such a dilemma, and even if they get an average grade in high school, they do not think that studying at a polytechnic is unattainable for them.

Finally, there is much to see in small town centers and villages. While high school students in large cities feel that choosing a polytechnic university is as natural as other universities, they believe that technical universities in small towns are for boys only.

– Large cities even have a large selection of programming or robotics courses designed for elementary school children. Small centers do not have this, so girls do not know what it is, and therefore do not take these directions as a natural way for themselves. As a foundation, we are trying to fill and organize this space, including programming courses for children under the “IT for SHE” program – says Bianka Siwińska.

There is a glass ceiling, say women. Fortunately, it can be crushed

The only thing that prevents girls from applying to a polytechnic university is not the belief that a man can be a chemist, an architect of information systems, or a nuclear physicist. Mental retardation can lead to fears of being treated less harshly, first by university professors and colleagues and then by the employer. Unfortunately, these fears are not exaggerated. Sharing their observations with the authors of the Women in Technology 2020 report, ¾ women admitted that they faced disrespect and chauvinist jokes during their studies and that they needed to prove that they were more talented and hardworking than men. According to the research participants, the older generation of professors made disrespectful comments and non-discriminatory jokes. – The younger generation of lecturers is usually more open – says our interlocutor.

In turn, participants in the study for the report “Women’s Leadership 2021” (prepared by Perspektywy in collaboration with the Kronenberg Foundation and the City Foundation) acknowledged that women face more problems at work than men. “glass ceiling”.

This year’s edition of the campaign will be held in April

Change always takes time. The fact that more and more women are studying at polytechnic universities and their participation in serious technical fields is slowly increasing (although, as we have noted, there are still many reasons and there is a lot of room for self-expression) shows that everything is going in the right direction. good proof.

The program of this year’s edition of the “Girls in Technology Universities” campaign can be found on this page.

Also read:
“Wprost” in Lukasiewicz or. We invite you to travel with the history, present and future of Polish science

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