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DIVA — Result In Brief

Project ID: 517884
Funded under: FP6-SOCIETY
Country: Italy

Promoting equal opportunities in science

Raising awareness about the unequal career opportunities for women in science was the subject of the DIVA initiative. Involving all potential stakeholders, the project aimed to help overcome this phenomenon.
Promoting equal opportunities in science
Gender differences in the field of science remain an issue, with women being underrepresented in numbers at every level. Seeking to address this issue, the EU-funded ‘Science in a different voice’ (DIVA) initiative concentrated on raising awareness of scientists that gender inequalities exist in their field. The plan was to sensitise policymakers about stereotypes and to stimulate a debate favouring equal opportunities in science.

To achieve these objectives, DIVA participants organised quarterly discussion groups in research centres and universities with scientists, as well as press conferences and meetings with stakeholders for equal opportunities. To promote a friendly image of science and enhance participation of female students, a video with interviews of well known Italian female scientists was shown during the meetings with students.

Partners also aimed at improving the self-esteem of female students and helping them bring out and express their true interests. The ultimate goal was to inform them of the opportunities and the benefits offered by working in science.

Additionally, the DIVA initiative tried to draw the attention of established women researchers to factors that may slow down their career progression so that they would more strongly support gender equality. With regards to policy and decision makers, the focus was on the waste of female talent that could potentially benefit the scientific field.

Through debate and face-to-face meetings, DIVA emphasised the reasons for promoting and the importance of equal opportunities in science, involving the participation of the general public and the media. The activities of the project are expected, at least at the national level, to stress the importance of this issue and alleviate gender differences in science.

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