|Posted on March 22, 2016 at 3:55 PM|
Universities frequently bemoan the lack of women in STEM majors. But Technion is determined to do something about it. On March 2, 2016, they held their first ever conference for high school women to introduce them to career options in science and engineering and they invited the whole country!
Technion does well in attracting women; overall, it is now 37% women, according to Technion's president, Peretz Lavie, but their goal is 50% representation by women in all disciplines. Most impressive is the 44% women graduate students, although Technion (like us in U.S. STEM faculties) has a poor representation of women faculty.
Nearly 700 women high schoolers attended this event. They heard some inspirational stories from female role models. Here are WiN's favorites (and note that they are equally true for every country in the world):
Assistant Prof. Yael Yaniv (Biomed. Engr.): “I attended... High School... in Haifa. I was very happy when they opened a math program, but on the first day I found out that I was the only girl and I wanted to quit. Fortunately for me, my mother didn’t let me give up."
Prof. Daniella Raveh (Aerospace Engr.): “I really love airplanes. They are my occupation and my hobby. I am fortunate in being able to do what I love and I also have a pilot’s license. Aeronautics is a field that’s suitable for men and women alike."
President Lavie: "This special day was designed to convince female students that they belong here at the Technion and that they can do it. Our future in the State of Israel is based on engineering and scientific knowledge." [Insert your own university and country here and the statement still rings true.]
- Written by Paulette Clancy