The Colombian government created a fund to support the academic training of women in order to achieve greater participation in the scientific field, especially in key areas such as engineering and mathematics, reported the Vice Presidency of the South American country.
This is the “Fund + Women + Science”, presented on Tuesday on the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, so that they have sufficient financial support to pursue university careers related to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics , known as STEAM (for its acronym in English).
The UN proclaimed in 2016 on February 11 as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science with the aim of achieving women’s full access and participation in that field, gender equality and their empowerment.
“It is satisfactory to commemorate this day of girls and women in science giving life to this fund that has been created with the resources provided by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation,” said Colombian Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez in the presentation.
Ramírez added that he expects the fund “to have a definite influence and that there are many women entering these fields of knowledge.”
The program will be aimed at supporting, with a differential approach, women and girls in vulnerable conditions so that they can start studies in STEAM areas, conduct research and innovation stays in Colombia and abroad, and develop a scientific-based entrepreneurial spirit and technological
INITIAL CAPITAL OF THE GOVERNMENT
To achieve its mission, the program was born with a budget of 1,000 million pesos (about $ 292,000) and with the potential to add allies that allow it to expand its reach.
The initial goal is to support 500 undergraduate girls during the first year, and 1,500 to 2022.
“To close the gaps we must definitely promote the role of our girls in science and in these STEAM careers. We have to achieve a paradigm shift, which comes from the hand of the fourth industrial revolution, which also brings new productive orientations,” he said. Ramirez
The program will have four axes of action including support for training in STEAM professions at the technical and university level; the promotion of bilingualism and international practices; promote the female entrepreneurial spirit of scientific and technological base, and the promotion so that more women are part of the research and development teams of the companies.
According to figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), only 14% of women under 24 in Colombia study STEM careers, while the world average is 16%.
In addition, of a total of 13,001 researchers registered in Colciencias, recently converted into the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, only 37% are women.