There is a significant gender imbalance in geosciences, especially in the mineral exploration and extraction sectors. These sectors tend to be dominated by men and by stable male stereotypes in almost all geoscience related business, in society and professional communities as well as in education and research. However, studies confirm that diverse teams are more creative and innovative. Participation of women in raw materials related industries and the underpinning research is therefore necessary and may be considered to be an essential element of business strategy (especially with regard to recruitment and retention).
The Raw Materials Community of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT RawMaterials) is supporting the implementation of a project which aims to attract 13-18 year old girls to study geosciences and related engineering disciplines, with the objective of improving the gender balance in these fields at entry level to tertiary education and the workplace. The project ‘ENGIE – Encouraging Girls to Study Geosciences and Engineering’ will focus on informing and inspiring secondary school female students as career decisions are made generally in this period of their lives. It will start in January 2020 and last for three years.
During the implementation of the project, an awareness-raising strategy will be developed and an international stakeholder collaboration network will be established for the realisation of a set of concrete actions. These actions include family science events, outdoor programmes, school science clubs, mine visits, mentoring programmes, international student conferences, publication and awarding opportunities, summer courses for science teachers and production of educational materials.
ENGIE will be implemented by the cooperation of 26 institutions. The partnership involves 3 universities (University of Miskolc, Luleå University of Technology and University of Zagreb), 2 research centres (Italian National Research Council and La Palma Research Centre) and a European-level professional geoscience organisation (European Federation of Geologists). 20 national member associations of EFG will also take part in the project implementation as Linked Third Parties. By their contribution, the project activities will be extended to more than 20 European countries.
University of Miskolc