Chemistry as something close and accessible on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Image is from https://www.narrativa.com/international-day-of-women-and-girls-in-science/

20/02/2023 by CICA

On 11 February, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science was celebrated worldwide. The Interdisciplinary Centre for Chemistry and Biology (CICA-UDC) wanted to celebrate this day by sharing a breakfast between female scientists from our centre and more than 50 secondary school students. After sharing breakfast and more than an hour of conversation in small groups, the students had the opportunity to do experiments and demonstrations accompanied by the researchers themselves.

The Interdisciplinary Centre for Chemistry and Biology is one of the participants in the Circle Lab project. Our centre is made up of around 200 researchers working in various fields of research. Of these 200, half work in chemistry and approximately half are women. We feel it is important to highlight this fact as there is a serious problem of loss of female talent worldwide as we analyze the number of men and women in the top positions in scientific careers. There is still a glass ceiling invisible to the untrained eye but very evident in the numbers (as can be seen in the diagram below, which analyzes the percentage of women and men at the different levels of scientific careers in the Spanish National Research Council - CSIC, although very similar data can be observed in public and private universities).

At CICA we believe that it is just as important to know the concepts of circular chemistry and chemical recycling as it is to know the women and men who do research in these fields, to encourage students to consider studying chemistry as a career opportunity and specifically to create the conditions so that women with training in chemistry do not have to abandon their research careers. In this sense, references are very important, and meeting women professionally dedicated to research in chemistry helps students consider it a viable objective.

Circle lab project partner CICA, (Universidade da Coruña. Advanced Scientific Research Centre) is part of the Universidade da Coruña and gathers interdisciplinary research groups on biotechnology, biomedicine, new materials and environment. Being a brand-new centre, it’s home to modern advanced lab equipment, highly qualified technicians and excellent researchers.