Investment made in project to raise women’s participation in science and technology

The European Union will allocate about €30,000 to advance the aims of the program in 2016 alone.

October 28, 2015 15:47
1 minute read.
fallen soldier

PARTICIPANTS IN the Israel Tech Challenge work during the 36-hour hackathon in Tel Aviv this week. (photo credit: ISRAEL TECH CHALLENGE)

The Science, Technology and Space Ministry will invest more than NIS 10 million annually to join Gender-NET, a European project to advance women in science and technology, and to promote gender research in academia and industry. The European Union will allocate about €30,000 in 2016 alone to advance the aims of the program.

The EU project encompasses 12 programs, agencies and organizations throughout Europe and North America, including in France, the US, Canada, Spain, Norway and Britain. This school year, the ministry will work together with the Education Ministry and the IDF to encourage teenage girls to study science, engineering and technology with meetings between the pupils and women scientists, officers working in elite technological units and managers and engineers employed in industry.

Gender-NET aims at raising the percentage of female scientists in academic positions and improving their career tracks and working conditions, as well as to increase scientific excellence. It is a flagship program of the EU, the Science Ministry said. Minister Ophir Akunis said that his office values the integration of women in these fields so that the country benefits from additional “brilliant minds” that will push Israel ahead in the coming years.

The ministry recently promoted awareness of the subject with public service announcements in the media.

“Israel’s joining the program will not only improve the representation of women in senior academic posts and their share in industrial R&D, but also turn the category of ‘gender’ into an analytic and scientific category that will make it possible for us to create high-level, advanced and more accurate science,” said Prof. Nurit Yirmiya, chairwoman of the Council for the Advancement of Women in Science and Technology who is currently the ministry’s chief scientist.

While Western society encourages women to go out to work in fields that were previously closed to them, it doesn’t do this actively or allow men to choose to spend more time in the home, she added.

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