The “Women STEM UP” project aims at tackling a key challenge related to the persistent gender gap in STEM higher education i.e., Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; and consequently, in the labour market. STEM graduates are in high demand in the labour market and STEM jobs are among the most highly paid.
The contribution of women in STEM has been recognized and considered as an important issue for innovation and renewal. However, the under-representation of women in STEM educational programmes is a significant problem that has long term effects. Educational institutions are generally interested in attracting women but there are few concrete examples of successful programmes and policies that can be generalized and used to support the participation of females in STEM. Women STEM UP, will build upon the gender expertise of participating partners to develop a more effective, bottom-up approach for encouraging women to consider STEM and particularly information and communications technology (ICT) studies and careers as a viable option for their future.
Therefore, it is crucial not only to increase the number of women in STEM but also to prevent them from dropping out from their STEM studies and support them to continue with STEM careers. The “Women STEM UP” project aims at eliminating the factors and circumstances such as gender stereotypes and prejudices that impede women to successfully complete their STEM studies and develop academic or business careers.
The main goal of the project is to promote equal opportunities, inclusion and fairness among females pursuing STEM studies. This makes the project aligned with the goals to develop and offer higher education, and in particular women training tools, learning experiences and inspiration that promote the participation of women in STEM fields.
More specifically, the project aims at offering female undergraduate students and lecturers, tools, resources and an open community and quality ensured platform to empower them and to involve them in the decision-making process of both the project activities and the advancement from studies to a career in STEM. The tools and the platform will include gender sensitive education and training practices specifically customized for STEM educational academic programmes.
The project’s results such as, a training virtual program for lecturers, the Women STEM UP Leadership, and the Inspiration Academy platform, will promote the participation of women in STEM fields by offering them training tools, learning experiences and inspiration that underline the potential of their studies in the academia and in the job market. The proposed activities promote the participation of women in STEM fields by offering tools and activities
adapted to individual behaviours and needs that underline the potential of their studies in the job market and offer needs-based assistance rather than a generic approach.