Technology to transform society, pole of attraction for women


The fifth and penultimate round table of the cycle “Leading economic sectors with female talent“, organized by Barcelona Activa and the association 50a50, focused on the digital economy and had as speakers Helena Torras, co-founder and CEO of B-wom, and Lourdes Muñoz, president of the Iniciativa Barcelona Open Data. President and vice president of 50a50, Anna Mercadé and Mar Gaya, respectively, also participated in the event.

In her introduction, Mercadé stressed that in recent years the number of women who are below the managers has risen a lot. “They are the ones who run the companies, but they do not manage them,” added the president of the association and general manager of the Observatori Dona, Empresa i Economia of the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona.

Focusing on the STEM industry, Mar Gaya pointed out that girls with a technological vocation are missing. In her opinion, the problem is that technology is being explained in an unattractive way for women.

However, the technology in its beginnings was a job of women, when it was called “computing”. At the time when the job becomes prestigious, men occupy it and dismiss women, according to Gaya.

On the other hand, STEM has great references who are women, although they are hidden. For example, Mileva Maric, great mathematician and companion of Albert Einstein, who apparently did all the calculations of the theory of relativity. The same happens with the inventor of wifi and other great figures, and instead the male referents in this sector are very well known: Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, etc. In fact, according to a study by the University of Valencia, the female referents in the ESO books represent only 7%.

In this sense, the vice president of 50a50 and founder of the company Igualando stressed the need to explain the STEM jobs in an attractive way: “Women are interested in technology when you explain them its ability to transform society, when it has a purpose”.

Helena Torras agreed and asked to make a change in education in order to eradicate gender stereotypes, because “artificial intelligence is being programmed by men, so if there is no change the decisions that the machines will take will have a gender deviation”.

Lourdes Muñoz, meanwhile, recalled that the percentage of graduates in maths and telecommunications has declined in recent years. As a good example, she mentioned the personnel selection policies of many multinationals, in which in the final phase there must be at least one woman among three candidates.

The new technologies also facilitate the fusion of professional, family and social lives, and therefore they are an aid for the integration of women in the job market and in decision-making positions, although the risk is the triple schedule that many professionals do. Muñoz insisted on using social networks for the empowerment of women and for professional promotion.

The cycle “Leading economic sectors with female talent” is jointly organized by Barcelona Activa and 50a50 with the aim of advancing towards the full and effective participation of women at all levels, in order to guarantee equal opportunities and shared leadership of companies and institutions. The next session will be the closing session, will be held on December 12 and will include the presentation of the book “Dones en alts càrrecs”, by the author, Maria Àngels Viladot i Presas.