(Article originally published in Spanish on Forbes México)
On February 11th we celebrated International Day of Women and Girls in Science, established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with the purpose of achieving full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls. In its latest Women in Science study, UNESCO reported that just 30% of the worlds’ researchers and scientists are women. Meanwhile, Cataylst, the global organization which works with CEOs and international companies to promote better workspaces for women, reported that female representation in companies’ boards of directors in the information technology industry is 17.9%.
Why is it important to continue promoting the participation of women, above all, in this sector? Undoubtedly, diversity, in both innovation and research, imply more talent, new perspectives and greater creativity in a sector that is vital for sustainable development. It’s been said by Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO: “To face the immense challenges of the 21st century - from climate change to technological disruptions - we depend on science and all the necessary energy and, therefore, the world it cannot deprive itself of the potential, intelligence and creativity of the thousands of women who are victims of deeply rooted inequalities or prejudices.”
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), in its Global Gender Gap Report 2020, Mexico is among the top 5 countries that made progress in closing its gender gap. The WEF highlights that this has been due in large part to the advance of Mexican women into public administration and legislative positions, among others. Regarding the successful completion of careers related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the WEF reports that only 14.46% of students are women.
As a woman and a professional, I believe that the talent and potential of each person is completely independent of gender and I want to think that in any forum that I am invited to speak at, that I am there for my achievements, my talent and my credentials—not to fulfill any quota. At Softtek, beyond any gender quotas, we have supported initiatives for the inclusion of women in scientific and tech training programs.
One of these programs we call Codellege, which is oriented around achieving job inclusion in the IT industry for talented boys and girls who would not otherwise have the opportunity to access the type of education. We have an integrated focus that allows students to acquire skills in programming, basic English concepts, human development and entrepreneurship.
I believe that, as a society, we cannot afford to leave out more than 50% of the country’s population, and above all, we cannot put aside the creative, leadership and empathic ability that we have as women.