Mática Joins #ellasprograman Initiative to Support Female STEM Talent with 200 Participants
Updated: Oct 27
Project supported by Fundación Telefónica and Womenalia.
October 10, 2023
Fundación Telefónica and Womenalia, the network of professional and entrepreneurial Spanish-speaking women, have organized on the 42 Barcelona and 42 Madrid programming campuses separate in-person orientation and outreach sessions for women interested in specializing in the technology sector.
Coinciding with International Ada Lovelace Day, the first programmer in history, both institutions have joined forces to promote the presence of women in the digital environment. In each of the campuses, participants in the sessions have had the opportunity to meet women currently working in the technology sector, who at one point chose a STEM-focused education.
The two events held at 42 Barcelona, the campus launched by Fundación Telefónica in collaboration with the Barcelona City Council and the Government of Catalonia, and 42 Madrid, respectively, have given around 200 women the opportunity to get closer to programming and various technological trends as a career path.
During the sessions, participants have received advice and guidance from about 40 mentors from the Womenalia network, who have been actively involved as mentors for the participants.
The sessions have also featured the participation of technology experts, such as Idoia Salazar, President and Co-Director of Ethics and Responsibility at the Observatory for Social and Ethical Impact of Artificial Intelligence (OdiseIA), in 42 Madrid, where she spoke about the importance of female presence in digital professions to reduce the current gender digital divide. Karina García, Director of Engineering at Wizeline, spoke about her experience and professional career in the sector during the event at 42 Barcelona.
Mática Joined #ellasprograman Initiative to Support Female STEM Talent with 200 Participants. Throughout the sessions, 'speed mentoring' sessions were also conducted, where participants and Womenalia mentors, professionals from companies like Schneider Electric, Keyrus, Wizeline, Deutsche Bank, Mática Partners, Igeneris, and Paradigma, among others, shared experiences and emphasized the importance of having female role models to inspire and empower other women who want to be a part of this field.
Despite living in the midst of the digital age, gender biases in the tech field not only persist but are reinforced due to gender stereotypes that emerge from a young age.
According to the 'Gender Overview' study published by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training in 2022, even though the percentage of female students in universities is higher, they predominantly opt for fields related to Education, Health, and Social Services, and they rarely choose STEM careers like Computer Science, Mathematics, and Engineering, where their presence is significantly lower than that of men.
This gender gap is even more pronounced in studies related to technological careers, such as Computer Science. Currently, only 14.1% of women enroll in computer science-related degrees, according to the 'Equality in Figures' report published by the Ministry of Education in 2023.
This situation has prompted organizations like Fundación Telefónica and Womenalia to focus on the causes of this digital gender gap and take direct action to bridge it.
Fundación Telefónica, through its free programming campuses 42 located in Madrid, Barcelona, Málaga, and Urduliz, carries out initiatives to empower women. These include the Piscine Discovery Week Women's Edition, a week dedicated to web programming exclusively for women, and the creation of a network of female programmers through its 'Women's League.'
On the other hand, Womenalia has been dedicated to women's professional development and empowerment for 12 years. They also provide consulting and services to companies in terms of equality and work-life balance. All of these efforts align with the Sustainable Development Goals for the 2030 Agenda, with the clear purpose of promoting and accelerating women at any stage of their professional careers.
Lula Ballarino, General Director of Womenalia, states, "We carry out these kinds of activities in collaboration with 'women-friendly' companies within our community to showcase female role models, encouraging women to pursue careers in areas that represent the future of employment. We aim to create leadership opportunities for women in these fields and normalize the presence of women in the world of programming."