EPWS 2012 report to the French Ministry of Higher Education

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COMPARATIVE STUDY OF MEASURES TO RAISE WOMEN STUDENTS’ AWARENESS TO SCIENTIFIC CAREERS AND TO GENDER ISSUES IN DIFFERENT EUROPEAN COUNTRIES
 
The objective of the present study is first to inform the Mission of the Parity and the Struggle against Discriminations (MIPADI) of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research on the ways, in several member States of the European Union, women students are made aware of scientific and technological careers and are supported in their corresponding studies.

Moreover, MIPADI also wishes to know how men and women students, without specialised knowledge of gender issues, are made aware of these questions in different EU countries.

To answer these two questions, EPWS was asked to produce a report in French presenting the actions of several Member States, most advanced in these areas, with if possible evaluations of the effectiveness of the measures taken, and to suggest actions in French universities, particularly at Bachelor and Master levels.

The EPWS Board of Administration members answered these two questions and they gave examples of the activities in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, United Kingdom; EPWS members provided information on initiatives in the Czech Republic, Norway and Switzerland. The collected answers are diverse and rich, even if they do not always correspond to the initial questions.

The second part describes actions to retain women students in science and technology and to interest, attract and maintain young girls in these studies: first those targeting women students, then those directed towards young women professionals (graduate students, young engineers), with a direct impact on students, and finally, briefly, those trying to encourage secondary school girls to choose scientific and technological studies. Such initiatives have been developed by
institutions (ministries, universities) and also associations.

The third part deals with raising awareness of men and women students (and men and women teachers), who are not specialists of this discipline, to gender issues.

This report does not pretend to be exhaustive but aims at giving a flavor of the large variety of initiatives and detailing those which seem particularly original. Many website links are given and translations into English or French, of the web-pages that we found most interesting, are provided in the 11 annexes.

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