The 18th annual colloquium of the French association Femmes & Sciences (Women and Science) was organised in collaboration with Conservatoire national des arts et métiers (Cnam), the first French public continuous education institution. The event was supported by the Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and received the patronage of the State Secretary in charge of Gender Equality and Fight against Discriminations; it gathered 200 participants, including two teenager classes.
A talk explained that the choices of higher education paths and disciplines by teenagers are not free, but constrained by society.
From US and Norwegian universities good practices it is now clear that, in order to make IT jobs attractive for women, in depth changes are needed in the studies and the professions.
The Cnam example showed how a technical institution can commit itself on gender equality, both through its communication and the creation of a serious game. Various positive women testimonies were presented in round tables. As international comparisons, the situation of women in science and technology and the measures to encourage them in Germany and in the USA were presented.
The most original parts of this colloquium were the testimony of an US woman IT engineer and the enthusiastic presentation by students from a technical course (see photo).