- The mission of the newly created Comillas ICAI is the promotion of STEM vocations in girls, particularly in the field of Vocational Training for sustainable mobility.
- While more than half of university students are women, less than 26% study STEM degrees, and 1.4% in VET.
- This is an innovative public-private initiative to create a strategic and pioneering partnership.
Madrid. Her Majesty the Queen has received in audience the working group of the entities that created the new Chair in Women STEM Sustainability Mobility. Iberdrola, through its Foundation in Spain, together with the Empresa Municipal de Transportes de Madrid and the Universidad Pontificia Comillas, have launched a chair to promote women in STEM vocations (an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics), particularly in the field of professional training for sustainable mobility, providing it with the necessary means for its development.
Alfonso Sánchez Vicente, Managing Director of EMT; Ramón Castresana Sánchez, Director of the Foundations Committee of the Iberdrola Group and Director of Fundación Iberdrola España; Julieta de Micheo Carrillo de Albornoz, Director of Institutional Relations and CSR of EMT; María Rein de Mesa, Training and Communication technician at Iberdrola; Yolanda González Arechavala, lecturer at the School of Engineering (ETSI-ICAI); and Elsa Santaolalla, research lecturer at the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences (CIHS).
Among the main objectives of the STEM Women Chair are the investigation of the causes of the low participation of women in studies related to STEM areas, the degree of adequacy of the academic contents with the needs of coverage of places in EMT and Iberdrola, the promotion of the cultural and social change necessary to promote the incorporation of women and the elaboration of a study of employability, quality and success profiles in STEM degrees. Not surprisingly, the figures show that while more than half of university students are women, less than 26% choose STEM-related degrees. Furthermore, around 14% of young people choose to study basic or intermediate vocational training, of which less than 33% are women and less than 1.4% choose STEM.
Over the next two years, among other actions already defined, reports will be drawn up analysing the situation in Spain and other countries with successful initiatives, workshops will be held on vocational orientation towards STEM among girls and young women, interdisciplinary workshops will be held to promote the development of these skills and there will be collaboration in the development of projects that generate research and innovation in the field of education with the aim of promoting STEM skills.
The Chair is characterised by its interdisciplinary nature (it brings together expert engineers from Comillas ICAI and experts in education and Social Sciences from the university) and by being part of a university with a strong commitment to STEM disciplines. In addition, Comillas’ commitment to companies that increasingly need more women in technical positions is accentuated. The university-business collaboration in a multitude of Chairs and initiatives makes Comillas the leading university in employability in Spain, the second in Europe and the seventh in the world, according to the prestigious QS World University Ranking 2021.
In this pioneering public-private initiative, Iberdrola and EMT want to pool the needs of both companies regarding the incorporation of women in two essential strategic areas: mobility and sustainability. To collaborate in the activities of the Chair, Iberdrola and EMT will finance the cost of the Chair, while Comillas Pontifical University will provide its centres to carry out all the educational activities.