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STEM panel marks International Women’s Day

Raising the profile of women in STEM is a key first step in reversing the under-representation of women in STEM-related careers.

That was the message from the Women in STEM panel discussion organised by the Ministry of Equality to mark International Women’s Day 2020.

The event, which was open to the public and was over-subscribed, featured women working locally in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Panelists included Christina Macano, Consultant Surgeon at the GHA, Natalie Soiza, Public Analyst at the GHA, Cristina Turbatu, Director and Co-founder Girls in Tech (Gibraltar), Naomi Sercombe, IT Operations and Service Management Lead at Gibraltar International Bank, Katharine Edwards, Civil Engineer and Angelique Linares, Managing Partner, EY Gibraltar.

The panellists spoke of the importance of challenging gender stereotypes from an early age and changing that narrative around who works in each of these professions.

“I am delighted to have marked International Women’s Day 2020 in such a positive way with an impressive panel of women who work in STEM locally and to see that this event has been so well received by the local community,” said Minister for Equality, Samantha Sacramento.

“Women are under-represented in STEM and STEM-related careers and pathways and it is crucial that we close this gap.”

“Raising the profile and visibility of women who work in STEM locally is an important first step in sending the vitally important message to everyone in the community that there is a definite place and role for women in these fields.”

“Communicating this message to all young people - but particularly to young girls and women - is fundamental in ensuring that they develop their full potential. I was particularly happy to see so many young people in the room today and how.”

“Additionally, ensuring that there is greater participation by women in STEM fields, such as Technology, can only be positive for the local labour market which is in ever-increasing demand of professionals in this field.”

The evening was opened by Ms Sacramento and the panel discussion mediated by Marlene Dalli.

Also at the event were representatives of stakeholders such as private sector technology firms, the Department of Education together with Headteachers and teachers of most schools, the GHA, the Youth Service, the Chamber of Commerce, the Gibraltar Federation of Small Business, Guiding Gibraltar, the Scouts Association, the Duke of Edinburgh Association and others.