Today is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. How does Portugal rank in this field? The data (and three Portuguese researchers) answer

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Today we celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The date, created by the United Nations Assembly in 2015, aims to raise awareness of gender inequality in the fields of science, technology and innovation.

According to the report “Women’s participation in inventive activity: evidence from EPO data”, launched at the end of 2022 by the European Patent Office (EPO), Portugal has the second highest percentage of women inventors in Europe, 26.8%, more than double the European average (13.2%), only surpassed by Latvia (30.6). Also according to OECD data, in Portugal there are more women than men studying science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

The study also concludes that although women’s contribution to science and technology has increased in recent decades, parity with men has not yet been achieved.

Although we are on the right track, much remains to be done. To commemorate the date, we asked three Portuguese researchers at the Nova School of Science and Technology | FCT NOVA what measure they would highlight as most urgent and relevant in this regard.

Ana B. Pereiro believes that “In positions of responsibility, we have to be valued for our skills, not for our gender. At this time there are still many important positions occupied only by men.

“If I had to highlight one measure, it would be to have a greater dissemination of the work done by Portuguese female inventors, which would inspire and motivate more women and girls in science,” points out Ana Rita Duarte.

“Although Portugal has a significant percentage of women inventors in Europe, there is still much to be done to promote gender equality in science and innovation,” stresses Cláudia Quaresma, adding that “If on the one hand the female presence in the technological area has increased, there is still a large gender gap in many sectors, particularly in industry, academia and technology in general.”

To address this challenge, “one of the most urgent and relevant measures that should be highlighted is the investment in the promotion and visibility of women in science and innovation. This investment not only helps address gender inequality, but also contributes to a more diverse and inclusive future in technology,” he concludes.

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