ELIX Polymers participates in the Inspira STEAM project to encourage girls to pursue scientific-technological careers
As part of its volunteer activities, ELIX Polymers is participating in the Inspira STEAM project promoted by Deusto University through Rovira i Virgili University to make a contribution in the fight to narrow the gender gap in science and technology.
Inspira STEAM is a pioneering project to encourage girls to pursue scientific-technological careers based on actions of awareness and guidance imparted voluntarily by professional men and women from the research, science and technology sector.
Since the initiative was first started in Tarragona, ELIX Polymers realised that it was necessary to take part in order to help break with gender-based stereotypes and normalise the presence of women in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) studies. During this school year, five women of ELIX's staff have taken part as mentors, informing students of 6th grade from various schools in the area of Tarragona about their day-to-day activities.
It is estimated that the number of students who opt for technological training drops year by year, especially among girls. Although 54.3% of all students in the Spanish university system are women, their presence in technical fields such as Engineering and Architecture is only 26.4% (in Tarragona only 18% of students study opt for engineering careers and of this 18%, 20% are women).
During the work sessions, the topics covered included the stereotypes that surround us, work or women and science throughout history. At these meetings, the mentors help the youngsters dispel their doubts and objections to professions related to science and technology, clarify their motivations and strengthen their self-esteem in order to embark on this professional career, if they wish.
“Being able to take part in a project such as INSPIRA and bring science closer to boys and girls from Sant Pau Apòstol school was an incredible experience. I would like to encourage young people to follow their dreams and fight for what really inspires and motivates them, regardless of their gender”, says Noelia Vázquez, People & Culture and Communications Director at ELIX Polymers.