March 8th marks International Women’s Day, a day that aims to help nations worldwide eliminate discrimination against women as well as focus on helping women gain full and equal participation in global development.
Within the hard sciences, inequality between genders seems to be a rather visible scenario and consequently a matter of debate. Taking into account that there are reports which show a low percentile of women in physics and engineering (13-20%) professions, notoriously evident when attending scientific and industry events underlying QTs, we can confidently assure that there is a gender unbalance in this sector.
The Quantum Flagship is taking particular interest in this issue and has created a Gender Equality Working Group constituted by 13 professionals, women and men, who are working to provide a solid and robust structure and support to the members of the quantum technologies community to reach gender equality.
As part of its objectives, and with a modest budget to fulfil such goals, this working group has identified four areas that need to be addressed in these next years to help create this mentioned support structure. Namely, the group will work towards understanding better the quantum community and consequently setting up systems to collect statistical information about the community.
As a first step, the group has put together a survey that has been shared with the entire quantum community that is has registered under the website. This survey, which will remain open until the end of May, can be accessed through this link and gathers information/comments and opinions about the views on gender equality from the quantum technologies community.
While the survey has received many responses from the academic sector, the industry sector, key to many professions and careers in the field of quantum technologies and key to having a complete picture of the sector, still remains under-represented.
Alongside, other areas in which this working group is focusing its efforts on are the identification and creation of a repository of activities, events and materials around gender equality. It is also working on finding approach to give more visibility to female scientists within the quantum technologies arena by broadening their participation and representation in public positions and events.
We want to take this opportunity to remind ourselves that there is still a long way to go to reach a gender equality scenario in quantum technologies but we are confident that this is possible and are looking for actions that can pursue this objective.
Deadline to complete survey: May 31, 2020
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