Interview of the Month: Association of Women Researchers and Technologists (05/2016)

Every month, for you, EPWS presents the characteristics and activities of one member association.

Read all the previous Interviews with our Members here

 

Our member for May is the Spanish association AMIT- Asociación de Mujeres Investigadoras y Tecnólogas (Association of Women Researchers and Technologists).

 

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For the Spanish Association of Women Researchers and Technologists (AMIT), Capitolina Díaz –Martínez, Professor of Sociology at the University of Valencia (Spain), has accepted to answer the EPWS questionnaire.

Contact this association: amit@cchs.csic.es
Contact this member: capitolina.diaz@uv.es
Association website: www.amit-es.org

 

EPWS: If you wanted to describe your association in one sentence, what would you say?

Capitolina Díaz Martínez: The Spanish Association of Women Researchers and Technologists (AMIT) is the young, pioneer and biggest association for the promotion of women in science in our country that unites scientists and professors from every region in Spain and multiple disciplines in a common goal.

EPWS: What are the objectives of your association?

C.D.M: The general goals of AMIT include:
– Political incidence: the defense of women scientists’ interests, equal rights and opportunities towards public institutions related to education, science and technology.
– Pedagogical mission: the organization of events, conferences and campaigns with the aim of making visible the work of women scientists and technologists as well as the gender perspective in interdisciplinary research.

 

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Madrid, 2015 AMIT General Assembly. From left to right: Pepa Masegosa (Physicist and Vocal of AMIT’s board), Capitolina Díaz (Sociologist an AMIT’S president), Inés Alberdi (Sociologist and ad honorem member) and Carmen Vela (Biologist, AMIT’s ex-president and current Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation).

 

EPWS: what is the history of AMIT, in a few words?

C.D.M: AMIT was created in December 2001 by a group of founding women researchers who considered that women were under-represented in key positions of science, universities and the industry in many European countries and also in Spain. This movement was inspired by the emergence of similar organizations in other European countries and the Helsinki Group activities in the previous years. AMIT is a young organization with 14 years of history, full of political actions, campaigns and collaborations with many other organizations of the Spanish civil society and the women’s movement. AMIT has been able to unite the most salient women scientists of our country with a well-consolidated career and young women researchers who are at the beginning of their careers. Nowadays, AMIT is a well-known organization in Spain and a model for the new generations of women scientists, researchers and technologists.

EPWS: Could you explain the organization of your association?

C.D.M. : AMIT is a national organization opened to every person coming from research and technology, from the public and private sectors that shares the purpose of the association in our country. Our organization has grown fast in the last decade and nowadays AMIT is formed by 585 members: 71 junior, 488 senior and 26 ad honorem. Moreover, four regional groups (Andalucía, Aragón, Cataluña and Galicia) have been established within the national organization. We meet together in our yearly assembly in order to design our strategic lines and keep in contact through our weekly Information mail and webpage.

 

Maria Josefa Yzuel (second right) and her team. Professor Yzuel was the first associate professor and first professor in Physics in Spain. Member of AMIT.
Maria Josefa Yzuel (second right) and her team. Professor Yzuel was the first associate professor and first professor in Physics in Spain. Member of AMIT.

 

2013 AMIT General Assembly. Pilar López Sancho (president) and Francisca Puertas (Vicepresident)
2013 AMIT General Assembly. Pilar López Sancho (president) and Francisca Puertas (Vicepresident)

 

EPWS: What are its recent achievements?

C.D.M.: In the last two and a half years, in which I have had the honor of been AMIT’s president, the new relevant activities are:

– The first study on women in the Spanish scientific prizes (from 2009 to 2014). As a result of this study we know that women represent only a 17.6 % of winners of a scientific prize. AMIT has been able to contact some of the promoters of these prizes to suggest the introduction of changes in their calls and procedures. AMIT also nominates female scientists (from our members and from outside the association) to scientific prizes. http://www.amit-es.org/sites/default/files/pdf/publicaciones/mujeres%20premios%20cientificos_2015.pdf

– The publication of “The scientist of the month”. Each month in our web page, Facebook and Twitter we publish a short (two pages) biography of one of our members, from senior to young promising researchers and from all fields. We have already published 21 biographies and the number of followers in the social media is increasing. http://www.amit-es.org/cientificas

– One of our last works has been the creation of a Data Base of women scientists, senior and junior. Its aim is to be able to offer the names of qualified scientists to any entity that could need them, from governmental institutions to the media.

– Our regional group in Aragon is launching the project “One Female Engineer in each School” whose aim is to facilitate children’s contact with engineering, especially girls. AMIT-Aragon asks female engineers from the university to spend one day in one school close to their home or to their holiday place working with the children in engineering activities. http://www.amit-es.org/noticias/actividades/una-ingeniera-en-cada-cole

EPWS: What is your agenda for the coming months?

C.D.M.: We are working now on the promotion and support of research on the situation of women scientists in rankings (publications, quality indexes, high positions, etc.). We have started with a critique to H-Index among female geologists (http://episodes.org/index.php/epi/issue/view/6683) and are now involved in comparing different quality indexes.
AMIT is also working with the Spanish branch of L’Oréal-Unesco program “For Women in Science” to enlarge the above mentioned Data Base and to open it to general public.
At the end of September we will have our yearly assembly during which I will resign and we are preparing elections for a new board.

 

Capitolina Díaz, AMIT President representing AMIT in an international meeting in 2015 in Panama. Amit logo is on the screen.
Capitolina Díaz, AMIT President representing AMIT in an international meeting in 2015 in Panama. Amit logo is on the screen.

 

Primary school in Zaragoza, 2016. Children building a structure during one of the sessions of our project “One female engineer in each school”.
Primary school in Zaragoza, 2016. Children building a structure during one of the sessions of our project “One female engineer in each school”.

 

EPWS: Are you collaborating with other EPWS members?

C.D.M..: Yes, we have contact with other EPWS members but less that we would like.

EPWS: What do you expect from EPWS? In what ways can it help you develop your action?

C.D.M.: The EPWS is really useful for the goals of AMIT and for the development of our activities in many senses: being in contact with similar organizations in different European countries helps us to share ideas, collaborate in campaigns, gain international visibility and feel stronger. We certainly believe in this transnational, partnership approach since the issue of women and gender in science becomes weaker in a national framework than in a European base. This is the reason why this Platform is so appreciated by the AMIT associates who expect from EPWS an active support in the coordination of common political demands, campaigns and actions for the advancement of women and gender in science across Europe. We can only do that if EPWS is able to make us to feel part of a common project.

 

Favourite LINKS

Consorcio genSET

DiscovHER / For women in science

European Centre for Women and Technology(ECWT)

European Platform of Women Scientists (EPWS)

The European Association for the Study of Science and Technology

The NextGENDERation Network

Women and Science de la Unión Europea

Web oficial de la Unión Europea

WITEC (European Association for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology)

Working group on Women in Science (WISE)

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