Regina Llopis, president of Grupo AIA talks about women´s low participation in STEM
Universities enrollment has come to an end and once again women´s applications in STEM studies is slim. There is 20% enrollment in engineering, hardly 30% gets a degree in Physics, and only in Mathematics women´s participation equals that of men.
Regina Llopis, president of Grupo AIA, is aware of the difficulty in hiring women when they graduate, as showed on a TV3 program there is scanty presence of women in technical studies and entrepreneurship. Regina Llopis admits despite companies´ efforts such as Grupo AIA´s, with specific hiring policies for finding and keeping women ´s talent, the fact is, there are very few women in technological companies and even fewer in technological entrepreneurship. If we look at the figures at top executive positions, the percentage it is even lower.
This is happening not only in Spain but worldwide and it is affecting technological companies: star-ups, medium range to large corporations. Therefore, UNESCO carried out a survey in 2017 to make countries aware of the need to find solutions to this problem and presented the Malaysia case where they decided to adapt the education and social policies to increase the presence of women in STEM areas (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) 20 years ago.
Spain is implementing the Libro Blanco (The White Book) aiming at gender gap reduction in engineering and basic science and developing policies to increase girls enrollment in physics, mathematics and engineering in all fields.
On the other hand, governments are not alone in this task. Companies are implementing structural changes as they realized before the problem of not counting on the knowledge and experience of the other 50% of the population in their technological solutions. As a matter of fact, companies were the first to implement specific policies to recruiting and retaining women ´s talent. They have also organized events to foster these steam areas (adding A for arts) in schools and sponsorship for young women.