Forum Dedicated to Promoting Women in Leadership Positions in STEM

Women who are active and hold leadership positions in technical fields, high-ranking officials, and representatives from the academic environment participated on February 28th at the Palace of Parliament in a forum on inclusive leadership, innovation, and the role of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Over 40 people attended this debate, the majority being women with experience in IT&C and management positions in public and private companies, or from the academic environment. The meeting was organized by the “Global Women Tech Leaders” Association in partnership with the Commission for Communications and Information Technology of the Chamber of Deputies. Discussion topics addressed issues such as promoting women in leadership roles in STEM, public-private partnerships for advancing gender equality in STEM, or innovative policies to support women in technology.

“There’s a famous picture from almost 100 years ago, taken at a congress of scientists, where among 50-60 men, there was only one woman – that was Marie Curie.
Currently, we don’t just have one female researcher anymore, but we’ve reached a percentage of 28% globally. If we continue on this trend, it will take another 100 years to achieve relatively equal figures. I find it important to mention that it’s not about men versus women but about providing equal opportunities to all children, encouraging girls to pursue courses and careers in exact sciences. A study from the UK showed that at the age of 10-11, both boys and girls chose STEM fields almost equally, with 75% of boys and 72% of girls reporting that they found science interesting. However, by the age of 18, this proportion decreased to 33% for boys and 19% for girls.
Therefore, the emphasis falls again on education and real, successful role models of women who have succeeded in fields where there is a preconception that they are meant for men. Wednesday’s debate is extremely useful because it brought together the political, academic, and business environments and comes with concrete solutions to the current situation in Romania - from study models from Singapore applied over periods of 3 and 6 months to ‘AI opportunities initiatives’, a €25 million grant focused on education for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and mentoring programs offered by Global Women Tech Leaders. At the parliamentary level, in addition to the initiatives already proposed to facilitate the path of female and male entrepreneurs in the tech field, my colleague Silvia Dinică has an initiative to reintroduce Computer Science into the national curriculum, as a STEM subject, so that those studying exact sciences can benefit from a 33% increase in scholarships and social protection,” stated USR Deputy Monica Berescu, Vice President of the Commission for Information Technology and Communications of the Chamber of Deputies.

The ideas, unique experiences, and conclusions from the debates generated within the forum represent essential elements that will be used to develop a detailed action plan providing a suitable framework for future generations of female leaders.

“The meeting marked a crucial moment in our collective journey towards strengthening the presence of women in leadership roles. Together, we have recognized the need to acknowledge and promote the importance of support networks, mentorship, individual involvement, and collaboration between the public and private sectors. It is essential to recognize that each of us has a role to play and that, through the courage to expose ourselves and share experiences, we can bring about significant changes, person by person. Let us join forces and build a future where women in leadership are not a rarity but a norm,” stated Simona Șandru, President of Global Women TechLeaders.

The official Press Release is available here