For a Human-Centered AI

FESTA: the european project to promote women’s scientific careers closes

January 9, 2017

The "FESTA - GARCIA" final conference takes place in Brussels today and tomorrow. The event was jointly organized by FBK (FESTA project) and Université Catholique de Louvain (GARCIA project) which has 135 members including academics from all over Europe, and also from the US and several European Commission officials as well as businesses representatives.

The higher the career progression level, the higher the number of male staff presence in many areas of scientific and technological research and the lower the female presence. This is the evidence object of the investigation conducted by the FESTA (Female Empowerment in Science and Technology Academia) European project in 2012 and co-funded by the European Union with 2.5 million Euros, which aimed to identify which factors may hinder the development of women’s careers and to find possible solutions.  The project, whose coordinator is the University of Uppsala, swas joined by research organizations from five other European countries including Italy, which participates with Trento-based Fondazione Bruno Kessler.

The  GARCIA (Gendering the Academy and Research: Career Combating Instability and Asymmetries) project, Also co-financed by the EU, instead, focuses on the early stages of the academic and scientific careers to explore the barriers that, right from the start, give way to an unequal distribution of women and men in the highest levels of scientific careers.

Thanks to the actions undertaken in the past five years, Fondazione Bruno Kessler has intervened on their own internal policies and staff selection processes in three areas:

·leadership (selections should encourage women to participate for higher-level research positions; higher recruiters’ awareness on gender aspects in recruitment processes);

·recruitment (a constantly updated database that enables more in-depth analysis on staff and the production of statistics on gender within the organization is now available; guaranteed gender balance in selection committees)

-gender awareness (use of tools for the collection and organization of gender related data in the different aspects of the work environment; study of FBK gender-specific policies).

Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 8, Marco Zamarian, professor at the University of Trento and FBK consultant on FESTAwill give a presentation on the prospects of gender communication and decision-making (Gendering communication and decision making: the formal and the informal perspective).

At FBK, the initiative is coordinated by researcher Ornella Mich, with the collaboration of a technical-scientific board whose Chair is FBK’s Secretary General Andrea Simoni and is made up by Human resources Departmentrepresentatives, and by male and female researchers.

The conference was also sponsored by the Gender Summit, a major international conference on this topic that will take place in Brussels on November 8 and 9, 2016.

The complete program of the “FESTA – GARCIA joint final conference” is available on the FESTA project website and on FBK’s website (m.l.)


FESTA (Female Empowerment in Science and Technology Academia), a five-year project, was co-funded by the European Union with 2.5 million Euros. During the empirical investigations, among other things, researchers studied some informal communication occasions within research organizations that are often important preconditions for formal decisions so as to detect any mechanisms that may disadvantage the women’s career dynamics. In Trentino, a number of classes from high school institutions have been involved in the project as well, to emphasize the issue of gender gaps as early as in the school environment. |||UNTRANSLATED_CONTENT_START|||Il progetto, di cui l’Università di Uppsala è coordinatore, ha visto l’adesione di realtà di ricerca di altri cinque paesi europei fra cui l’Italia che partecipa con la Fondazione Bruno Kessler di Trento.|||UNTRANSLATED_CONTENT_END|||

GARCIA (Gendering the Academy adn Research Combating Career Istability and Asymmetries), co-financed by the European Union and coordinated by Barbara Poggio and Annalisa Murgia with the University of Trento, deals with implementing actions in European universities and research centers research to promote a culture of gender equality and eliminate stereotypes and discrimination. The attention was focused on the early stages of scientific careers, to explore the obstacles which, right from the start, give way to an unequal distribution of women and men in the highest levels of scientific careers.

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