Interview of the Month: Association of Hungarian Women in Science (01/2016)

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 January is the Hungarian association

Association of Hungarian Women in Science – AHWS (Nők a Tudományban Egyesület – NaTE)

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Dr. Dora Groo, the President of the Association of Hungarian Women in Science has accepted to answer the EPWS questionnaire.

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

Dora Groo: The members of the Association of Hungarian Women in Science would like to live in a world which integrates and appreciates equally the knowledge of women and men in the processes of social and technological innovation.

EPWS: What are the objectives of your association?

Dora Groo: The members of the Association are convinced – and international experience also proves – that the higher and more pronounced participation of women in academic and industrial research and development results in favourable changes for the individuals, the families, the society and the economy. The Association strives to create new value in the scope of conferences, workshops, interactive open days and to provide information through inspiring online surfaces and newsletters rich in content. We collect from international sources, select, adapt to local conditions and put into practice those incentive initiatives which can be followed by the whole society.

The Association participates actively in the national and international processes of social innovation which contribute to bringing science and innovation closer to the whole society; making possible that young people choose education and career most suitable for their talent; making equal opportunities an unavoidable measure of value in research and innovation; building a multicultural, balanced research society.

Accordingly, the objectives of the Association are:

Increasing the ratio, representation and decision-making role of women in scientific research and innovation

Analyzing the background and conditions of gender equality in the area of research, technology and innovation

Supporting the scientific/technical career of women

Awareness raising and changing of public opinion/attitude

Contributing to increase the number of the new generation of researchers and engineers

Raising the support of women’s scientific career to national program level

EPWS: What is the history of association, in a few words?

Dora Groo: The Association of Hungarian Women in Science is a Hungarian NGO established in 2008. It has a national network with close to 100 members. Its members are researchers, university professors, engineers, department heads and institutional directors from all areas of science and innovation.

EPWS: Could you explain the organization of your association?

Dora Groo: The Association is led by a three-members Executive Committee, one of them is the president of the organization. Everyday activities are directed by the general manager of the Association. We keep in contact with the members mainly through electronic means (regular newsletter, direct messages), but at least once a year a general assembly is organized.

EPWS: What are its recent achievements?

Dora Groo: Every year on the last Thursday of April technical enterprises, enterprises with technical departments and technical training facilities, universities, and research centers all over Europe are invited to organize an open day for girls – the Girls’ Day. Hungary, through the initiative of the Association, has been participating in Girls’ Day since 2012. Last year, in 2015, more than 1400 girls from grades 9-10-11 registered to the action website and visited a total of 42 programs in 13 cities of Hungary. NaTE is the beneficiary of the “STEM Girls Go Hard” project funded by the ALCOA Foundation. The project aims at influencing the career choice of high-school girls toward science and technology. The activities are: developing a strong and sustainable Ambassador Network for High School girls; Father-daughter Day where the parents receive strong input to support their girls in choosing education and career in science, informatics and technology; Teachers’ visits to companies to introduce them the future hosts of career orienting actions, like Girls’ Day or Shadowing days; Engineer Camps where girls can meet women role models from universities and companies and visit potential future workplaces.

In the IPlan: SmartFuture for Girls project, supported by the American Association of University Women, NaTE is initiating a local and regional discussion between stakeholder groups (including STEM employers, policy makers, STEM educators, students and parents) resulting in a shared vision about the inclusion of young women in STEM work fields. Female students of 12-15 have been engaged in a locally available educational program and intense capacity building with the aim to increase female participation in STEM studies and careers in Hungary’s Székesfehérvár region.

EPWS: What is your agenda for the coming months?

Dora Groo:

Presenting the Women in Science Excellence Award in 4 scientific fields (biotechnology, information technology, material technology, space technology) in March 2016
Organizing the 5th Girls’ Day in Hungary in April 2016 to increase the ratio of female students at STEM faculties and of women in research and innovation
Widening our country-wide Ambassador Network of highschool female students
Organizing a summer camp for girls interested in STEM fields
Developing contacts between high-school teachers and companies
Collecting recent data on the equality between women and men researchers
Continuing our collaboration with universities, research institutes and companies with the aim of changing their attitude
Participating in Researchers’ Night 2016
Developing national and international (H2020, V4, Erasmus+) proposals

EPWS: Are you collaborating with other EPWS members?

Dora Groo: We have some contacts with the Italian organization Donne e Scienza.

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

Dora Groo: Exchange of experience, inviting speakers to events




High School Ambassador Network
Ambassador Network of high school female students
Awards 2014 resized
Women in Science Excellence Award 2014
Girls Day 2015_Colleen Bell_GE_01 resize
Girls’ Day 2015 at GE with Colleen Bell, the United States’ Ambassador to Hungary


Read all the previous Interviews with our Members here


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