Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Women in science and technology, The business perspective, EUR 22065

Funded under: FP6-SOCIETY


Early in 2005 a group composed of 20 company representatives and 5 experts in economics engineering and social sciences worked to make the business case for gender diversity in Science and Technology. The challenge of this mix is that practitioners do not always have a social science background while most social sciences experts do not have enough exposure to business. This is a set-up either for a rich learning experience or for a "dialogue de sourds" (dialogue between deaf people) as we say in French. In any case it has helped us form our judgment on many issues and I am sincerely thankful to the EC for having provided us with the support for it. Working with this team of experts and exchanging between colleagues gave us an opportunity to enlarge our understanding of the issues and better perceive all of its facets, including nonbusiness aspects like socio-economical undercurrents.
As a group, we have taken a variety of approaches to this problem, collecting a great deal of information in the process. First, however, I would like to remind you of where we came from as a technical business community, for we are still paying the price for the reputation we built up in the past.
Not so long ago, in the 80�s, the reality of technically intensive industries was that they were managed almost exclusively by men. Only men were engineers, their spouses were housewives. If the spouse had a job it would often be just a job not a career. If in the US, companies were making efforts to employ women, albeit with mixed results, very few in Europe took the issue seriously. Women clearly resented this state of affairs but raising this issue was not accepted at the time .The companies were not responsive and no one wanted to risk bending or changing the rules.

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Record Number: 7434 / Last updated on: 2006-06-21
Category: MISC