Seminar “Academic Sexism and Ethical Implications of the Underrpresentation of Women in Technology”

The Gender and ICT research group of the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), a UOC research centre, is organising a seminar on July 7th, at Espai Francesca Bonnemaison, oriented to explore the variety of factors involved in the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields and its ethical implicationss.

The unequal access of women to science and technology-related careers and of men to care-provision and education-related careers continues to be a challenge for current societies. There are several forms of sexism present in the academic setting, such as considering women less competent in mathematics than their male counterparts or considering men lower than their female counterparts in languages. These stereotypes condition adolescent boys' and girls' academic and occupational choices, their performance and their evaluation of their own competences, as well as the importance they give to the different options for what they would like to do in the future.

This seminar aims at discussing the complex combination of individual and socio-cultural factors that undermine the sense of belonging and, therefore, the participation of women in STEM. In addition to raising awareness of the ethical implications of the underrepresentation of women in the fields of engineering and technology, we will review some strategies for reducing sexism and fostering women’s belonging in STEM.


Opening speechesMarta Aymerich, Vicerector for Strategic Planning & Research at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) and Ana Puy, director of the Women and Science Unit of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.

STEM Belonging for Girls and Young Women: Overcoming ObstaclesCampbell Leaper. Professor and Department Chair of Psychology. University of California, Santa Cruz.

Ethical Implications of the Lack of Participation of Women in Technological FieldsMontse Serra, professor of Computer Science at the Open University of Catalunya (UOC), and Mireia Farrús, researcher at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF).

Chaired by: Milagros Sáinz, director at the Gender & ICT group, Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3).


160707_Foto_Campbell_LeaperCampbell Leaper attained his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Boston University and his doctorate in psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). After a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, he joined the psychology faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he is currently professor and department chair. Leaper’s research program investigates the developmental and social psychology of gender and sexism. For the last 15 years, he has focused on gender-related variations in academic motivation and achievement, including girls and women in STEM-related subjects. Campbell Leaper is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) and co-founder of the Gender Development Research Conference, held every two years in San Francisco.

160707_Foto_Mireia_FarrusMireia Farrús is graduated in Physics and in Linguistics at the Universitat de Barcelona. She received her PhD at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, where she taught Technoethics, Engineering and Social Responsibility, and Technology and Society. She has held research positions in the Office of Learning Technologies at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, at the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (Germany), Umeå Universitet (Sweden) and the National Centre for Biometric Studies at the University of Canberra (Australia). She currently works at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, doing research in the Natural Language Processing group and teaching at the Polytechnic School.

160707_Foto_Montse_SerraMontse Serra received a BSc in Computer Science and a PhD in Computer Science at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. She has developed research work at Technical University of Wroclaw (Poland) in the Computer Science Faculty. She is a full-time teacher at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, where she teaches Computer Architecture, Operating Systems and Professional Ethics. She is also a part-time associate professor at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, where she teaches Operating Systems. Her research interests include Engineering and Social Responsibility, as well as Ethical and Technological issues, learning methodologies and tools for e-learning.


This seminar, that will be held in English, is organized by the Gender and ICT research group of the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), a UOC research centre, with the support of the project "Challenges to the persistence of gender roles and stereotypes in the choice of higher education studies from a longitudinal approach. The role of families and teachers" (FEM2014-55096-R, Principal Investigator: Milagros Sáinz), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.


Thursday, July 7, 2016 - 16:00 to 19:00
C/Sant Pere més Baix, 7
Espai Francesca Bonnemaison
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