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|Name of Organisation:||Politecnico of Bari|
|Main implementing organisation:||Committee for Equal Opportunities|
|Line of Business:||Faculties of Engineering (all fields), Electronic sectors, IT, Architecture|
|End Date:||Still Ongoing|
|Number of Employees||342||42.11 %|
|Employees in R&D||348||30.46 %|
|Number of Employees in Top Positions||2||100 %|
|Transferability of the initiative||Programme has been taken from another context (i.e. country, sector or size of organization)|
|Type of initiative referring to strategic objectives||individual|
|Type of initiative, located on the stage of career progression of women scientists||Qualification (Higher Education)|
Short term objectives:
To help female students to discover their effective potential also in IT and Engineering studies and research - still almost “unknown” to them.
Long term objectives :
To abolish all cultural stereotypes which do not allow female students to develop their capabilities in the engineering and IT sector.
Barriers are cultural and also related to every day studying and working life: women are generally less involved in technology, especially IT and Electrical and Electronics faculties, while they are more interested in Architecture and Civil Engineering.
Men have the advantage over women’s progress in career because they outnumber women in the above mentioned scientific careers.
Committee has begun working on that only in October 2009; the only demonstrable success until now is based on the opening of a ‘ counselor session’ for women in the politecnico that has received already many requests of information from female students, indicating that women are paying more attention to gender based actions .
Good opinion from the employees and students, indicating that people begin to think and hope that something may change.
The percentage of female students attending IT and Electrical and Electronics courses is very low.
In the Politecnico there are also not many women working as administrative staff dealing with IT-tasks
Before the start of the initiative there was not a favorable approach towards the achievement of equality between men and women in the politecnico faculties though there was a strong need for action in this direction. In fact there was a general lack of gender balance but no initiative to overcome it.
The steps to be taken are:
Conference ‘Engineers and Architects : women’
A call for exhibition will be launched for students to organize an exhibition in the open spaces of the politecnico. This idea aims at bringing together female and male students to make them participating to meetings and debate inside the politecnico.
The initiative is still too young to clearly identify the factors of success.
It was and still it is difficult to find out the correct way to act since no one has done a specific project to sustain gender balance in the politecnico before. So that an obstacle is the lack of experience.
Diffused lack of gender culture and consciousness of gender issues among the target groups and the general acceptance of men’s preponderance in the labor market and women’s discomfort and low self confidence.
Two important lessons:
A bigger participation of women in the research activities of the University represents an added value for the entire organization, especially when they cooperate with the male staff.
If the initiative will be implemented with success, it will change both males and females approach to study and work, aiming at higher and higher targets; this will have a sustainable effect on gender balance in the politecnico.
A long term program of activities will be implemented.
Some ideas of the initiatives have been taken from other universities , but nothing can be transferred anywhere without first being adapted to the cultural context.
This initiative is embedded in a wider strategy aiming at promoting equal opportunities thanks to the activity of the Equal opportunity committee (EOC).
It is a novelty in the activity of the EOC. It has a strong innovation if we think that still few initiatives like this one are implemented in the South of Italy where the culture of gender unbalance in the scientific sector is still accepted from both men and women.
In this particular situation most women still have traditional jobs or enter the informal job market and therefore giving up any other chances and opportunities.
Yes , there will be.
This initiative is a good practice, because it is well organized and monitored. It is too young to show results which enables us to assess it as a good example, but we have to consider that in only 6 months lot of activities have started. They have new ideas to put in place and every thing they have put in place or that they will, is going to be based on data and figures, already existing or that they are collecting. They are very aware of the cultural situation at the local level toward female students and workers and they are acting to respond to specific barriers of the region that have negative effects on women in science and R&D.
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