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(In)visible talent: women in materials science and engineering

Dr Nuria Salan-Ballesteros | Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya

(In)visible talent: women in materials science and engineering

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Women have traditionally been a minority in engineering. There are many reasons why more women in engineering would improve the field by adding diversity and talent. This poor visibility of woman is at the same time a constant difficulty to attract young girls in the field, so creating a negative loop. Experts coincide on the fact that the lack of role models is one of the main challenges to overcome. Recently, various people and institutions related to the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya designed an exhibition to create awareness on the topic, called the "L'enginy (In)visible". Currently, the different panels produced are reservable at the UPC library: any member of the community can borrow it and exhibit it wherever they think that can be of interest. Since it was presented it has had an important success.

The field of materials science&engineering (MSE) can be a niche to attract women towards engineering. Generally, there are more women compared to general engineering. Our aim is to deepen in that field of women in materials in a collaborative and international effort, setting up transformative initiatives addressed to educators and stakeholders in the field of material science and engineering. In this workshop, the aim is to co-create an international version of the exhibition "(in)visible talent", adding information about women in materials engineering that will be collected in the period Oct-Des 2017. Any participant at the workshop will contribute with data collected previously, but also defining the contents to make them the most adapted to user needs. The data will be collected with a questionnaire, with questions like: -When was the first woman graduated in MSE at your university? And in engineering? -Name & contributions from any relevant woman in the field of MSE from your country. The outcome of the workshop will be a real-size prototype of the exhibition, processed later on by the authors adding graphic design to produce an editable digital format. The file will be downloadable by all the participants, so they can add local information from their universities or communities and print a "local" version available at their universities.