Less and less young people, particularly girls, take up scientific-related subjects or pursue a scientific career; moreover there is a decline all over in Europe among youngsters who apply for university in the field of science and technology. The ratio of girl students in some of the disciplines doesn’t achieve the 10 per cent, while in secondary schools they are outstanding in subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology.
The conditions for working in research, technology and development (RTD) seem very unattractive to young women, as they have the image of the scientist’s life being extremely harsh and competitive: long working hours with overtime work, no spare time, no work-life balance, no holidays and no individualised labour relations.
One way to reverse this negative trend is to encourage more young people, particularly women, to take up a scientific-related career. In Hungary the Association of Hungarian Women in Science is the first organisation that started this initiative addressed specifically to girls.
Short term objectives:
In the short term, the aim was to get more and more young girls to take part in the Shadowing Program, in order to show them a real picture of women scientists, this way encouraging them to take up a career in the field of science and technology.
Long term objectives:
In the long term the main purpose of the initiative was to increase the number of the women in science and technology by using the tool of the national annual Shadowing day which gives young girls the chance to follow women RTD leaders as a shadow for a whole day, thus raising their interest in the scientific career.
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