Equality, Science and Technology, for a change of paradigm

Published: September 13, 2023


  • The Lehendakari will inaugurate the International Congress “Equality, Science and Technology, for a change of paradigm” on October 23rd in Donostia, Spain.
  • The activity is part of the Pact for Equality and lives free of gender violence that this year focuses on the empowerment of women and girls and digital transformation.

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The Equality, Justice and Social Policies counselor, Nerea Melgosa, and the director of Emakunde, Miren Elgarresta, have presented today, accompanied by the director of Nanogune Txema Pitarke and the director of digital identity of the University of Deusto Lorena Fernández, the International Congress “Equality, Science and Technology, for a paradigm shift” to be held on 23 and 24 October at the Miramar Palace in Donostia.

The congress has been envisioned and design by a committee with representants from CFM, CIC nanoGUNE, CIC biomaGUNE and other relevant scientific institutions working hand in hand with Emakunde.

The Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu will be in charge of inaugurating a congress that will bring together international experts in order to address the existing inequalities and gender gaps and the necessary transformations to incorporate in a systemic way the equality of women and men in the field of science and technology.


The congress, as explained by the Minister of Equality, is part of the Country Pact for equality and lives free of gender violence, Berdinaldia, which was presented in June 2022 and this year focuses on two of its commitments: Empowerment of women and girls and Digital transformation. Melgosa recalled the need to change the paradigm in this area in order to make the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals a reality and has indicated that, from Euskadi, within the framework of Berdinaldia, “we promote this objective through commitment number 8 of the Pact for Equality, which advocates taking advantage of digital technologies to advance towards gender equality and reduce gender violence; promote actions to encourage girls and women to increase their interest and commitment to STEAM education in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics; and show the leadership of women in design, production, innovation and technology, among other objectives”.

The Councilor stressed that the gender gap in the field of science and technology is not only limited to the lower presence and visibility of women in this field, but also to the still androcentric conception of it and that, therefore, requires a paradigm shift to ensure that the incorporation of equality is done in a systemic way. “It is also about analyzing how science and technology can contribute to the equality of women and men,” she said. Melgosa has valued the participation and commitment shown by the Basque scientific community by getting involved with the congress, adhering to the Pact, and, thus, accelerating the progress of equality in the Basque Country in this field.


For her part, the director of Emakunde, Miren Elgarresta, stressed that the organization of the congress responds to a demand from the scientific community itself and that it is necessary to take advantage of this momentum in favor of equality within this field “because equality, as marked by the philosophy of the Pact for Equality, is a team effort”. Elgarresta also pointed out some of the realities of the gender gap in technology and science, such as “that girls in many cases still do not feel it as a world of their own, that science and technology studies are not aimed at a neutral public, that scientific knowledge still hinges on an androcentric vision, leaving aside the needs of women, and that women find it more difficult to be promoted and made visible in this field, which also makes it difficult for the new generations to have references, among others”. In her words, “we look at science and technology as opportunities for change, innovation and improvement in the lives of women and men; as an opportunity”.

Among the objectives of the congress, in the words of Elgarresta, will be to analyze the regulatory framework, public policies and the challenges of science and technology from the perspective of equality; to provide concrete tools to incorporate the gender perspective in the daily practice of the organizations involved; to promote the recognition of the role of women in science and technology and their scientific vocation, as well as an equal, inclusive, safe and accessible digital transformation for women; to promote the recognition of the role of women in science and technology and their scientific vocation, as well as an egalitarian, inclusive, safe and accessible digital transformation for women; to address the influence that the prevailing model of masculinity has on the very notion of scientific excellence, as well as the role of boys and men as key agents for change for equality in this field, and to make proposals for the future that seek the commitment of all the agents involved”.


Lorena Fernández, on the other hand, pointed out that according to the latest CSIC report on female researchers, there is a disparate evolution of the scientific careers of women and men”.At the pre-doctoral research stage, men account for 48.6% and women for 51.4%. However, as they advance in their careers, at the highest category, men become 73.8%, while women only represent 26.2%. This same pattern is repeated in the Basque Country Science Report 2022, where we find that there are more women at the beginning of their scientific careers, but this figure decreases as they advance through the categories. This means that, as they are promoted less and stay longer in the same scientific scale, they receive less economic retribution and, therefore, the salary gap is aggravated”. She added that “in this congress we not only want to focus on how to make organizations and institutions inclusive, safe and accessible environments for women; we will also work on how to incorporate the gender perspective in all phases of research and innovation, so that it responds to the problems of society as a whole.”

Txema Pitarke, director of NanoGUNE, stressed that “in research we are facing a structural problem in the field of gender equality, which requires an in-depth analysis of the situation, and this congress offers us a great opportunity to work in collaboration and establish alliances within the framework of the country’s pact for equality.