Brussels, 10 June (EFE). – This Thursday, the European Parliament (PE) approved a report to promote gender equality in teaching and the professions related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), with the aim of women having a greater presence in these regions.
The European Parliament confirmed its support, by 546 votes to 35 with 100 abstentions, for the report proposing the removal of obstacles that lead to underrepresentation of women in STEM jobs.
The report’s rapporteur is the Spanish MEP Susana Solis, of the Renovar Europa Group, who stated that “science and technology will change the world, and women must be part of that transformation.”
Solis explained to Efe that “it is important to work in the early stages of education” to eliminate stereotypes that can influence girls and discourage them from choosing STEM studies and careers.
In addition, he stressed that it is necessary to have models by which young women can be inspired, because, for example, in the case of Spain, “in textbooks only 7.6% of the reviewers are women.”
The report notes that only two out of five scientists and engineers are women, even though they make up 52% of the European population and 57.7% of those with higher education in the European Union.
The spokeswoman pointed out that women in general choose studies of social and human issues, for which she stressed that the impact that technology can have on society must also be known.
In the case of artificial intelligence (AI), it can contribute to cancer treatments or make food healthier, Solis explained, however, in Europe’s AI sector, there are only 12% of women.
“If there are no women behind AI algorithms, the biases will persist and there will be more inequality,” Solis stressed.
The report also emphasizes the workplace, which is why it urges member states to implement the guidance on reconciling family and professional life, as well as to improve maternity and paternity leave.
With regard to entrepreneurship, the document calls on the Commission and Member States to increase funding opportunities for female start-up entrepreneurs through EU funds and programmes.
Solis warned that if women were not present in the technologies that will design the future, “half of Europe’s talent will be lost and Europe will not be inclusive or competitive.”
This report was approved at a critical moment, as the recovery plan is being implemented, as the European Union commits to digital and green to overcome the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. EFE
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