The international women’s day was celebrated by the Nordic embassies in Brussels Friday morning March 6th, 2020. The title of the event was Women and STEM. STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Although more women take an education in a STEM subject there is still a substantial lack of women getting a job in these professions. The meeting in Brussels discussed women’s barriers to STEM-professions and that the society needs more opportunities for women in STEM.
Lis Mortensen, geographer from Jardfeingi, the Faroese Geological Society, was in the panel along with Anne Häger from Åland, Katja Toropainen from Finland and Marte B. Drageset from Norway. Moderator for the event was Melissa Rancourt, founder and president of the international organisation Greenlight for Girls.
Lis Mortensen presented the Edu-Arctic project where scientists from Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, Poland and France have communicated science within STEM-subjects to students in secondary schools from about 60 countries around the world. The Faroe Islands was one of the countries where relatively most schools and teachers participated, – and the participation is especially big when the Faroese nature is on the agenda. Edu-Arctic organized three competitions, where students from all of Europe participated. The winning teams were invited to Arctic Expeditions in Iceland, Faroe Islands, Svalbard and Norway. Both in 2017 and 2019 the expeditions visited in the Faroe Islands. One of the main tasks with the Edu-Arctic project was to enhance girls’ aspiration to STEM subjects. The statistics from the project show that the interest in STEM among girls grew significantly.
The discussion between the many participants at the Nordic event in Brussels “Women and STEM” was lively and showed how necessary it is to increase awareness to the issue why women are lacking in STEM professions.
Kelda (myndir): The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux