There are fifty women, from all over Italy. In some cases they work here and have built their profession, for others the successes have come abroad. But always in the Stem field, that of scientific and digital disciplines. In fact, they deal with information technology, digital media, ecommerce, physics, aerospace, artificial intelligence, chemistry, pharmaceuticals, finance. They were chosen to show their faces and model girls in camps and careers on which – for some time – a beacon of female employment has been lit. Suffice it to say that, in Europe, only two out of ten ICT jobs are occupied by women. In Italy, according to recent data, just 18.9% of graduates have chosen scientific, mathematical and technological disciplines. And the experts in top positions do not reach 40%. Do you lack the skills? Not always true. Sometimes it is a question of a lack of visibility, a lack of figures to be inspired by, of points of reference. That is why the motto of these Inspiring Fifty – representing the Italian selection (now online on the website italy.inspiringfifty.org) as part of the European initiative launched in the Netherlands in 2015 by the digital entrepreneurs Janneke Niessen and Joelle Frijters to contribute to gender diversity in the world of technology – If she can see it, she can be it. That is: if he can see her, he can also become like her.
Girls and girls still do not have the clear perception that these careers are within their reach – she explains Paola Bonomo, independent director and business angel, already in the European roll of honor of the Inspiring Fifty -. Telling the successes of women in science and technology serves not only and not so much for women themselves, but for the next generation, and for the next generation: because without role models, not only do you have no reference points, but you don’t even think about it. to be able to undertake a path in that field. Among the winners of the first Italian edition of the initiative, in 2018, there is Maril Capparelli, director of legal affairs at Google and director of the boards of directors of Rcs Mediagroup and Tod’s. Promoting the debate on the value of Stem training and the role of women in technological innovation is a duty of society, explains Capparelli. In the parterre of professionals and academics to be inspired by, there is for example Diana Bracco, president and CEO of the Bracco group and Women Empowerment Ambassador for the B20. The Inspiring Fifty motto struck me a lot and represents an important message for young women all over the world – says the entrepreneur -. I always advise girls to choose Stem degrees and I make a specific appeal to them: never accept the prejudice that women are less suited to the technical-scientific professions, whose skills are increasingly required by the world of work. It is no coincidence that one of the recommendations for the G20 countries, developed by the Special Initiative on Women Empowerment that I led for the B20, is precisely this one. In the diffusion of the scientific approach, our country faces a historical gap that must be overcome as soon as possible, favoring a strong cultural leap, which must involve families and society.
He echoes her Paola Profeta, full professor of finance science at Bocconi University. Stem professions guarantee more promising careers and a profitable evolution of the career path – explains Profeta, who also directs the university’s AXA Research Lab on Gender Equality -. We must insist on models: young women get involved if they know that someone else has made it. Among the 50 Italian leaders, many entrepreneurs and startup founders. Like Isabella Castiglioni, professor of physics at the University of Milano Bicocca and co-founder of DeepTrace Technologies, a startup that applies artificial intelligence to predictive medicine. Castiglioni is also a member of the newborn AI working group set up by the Ministry for Digital Transition with Miur and Mise, where 5 out of 4 members are women. Young women must believe more in themselves: they possess many qualities that are not sufficiently valued. For example, they have strong multitasking skills, by aptitude they are able to integrate more activities than their male colleagues.
It goes on the concrete too Giovanna Laudisio, co-founder and CEO of Naturbeads, a startup that works to eliminate the planetary problem of microplastic pollution. To solve the environmental challenges of the 21st century we need engineers, chemists, physicists – he explains -. But we also need more women, because the solution to these global problems requires a diversity of ideas, points of view and the experience of both men and women.
Instead, he deals with deep tech Guendalina Cobianchi, vice president of V-Nova, a London-based company specializing in innovative solutions for video and data compression. For me “success” means having followed the intuition and the desire to venture into something that had never been done before, venturing into a path of radical innovation, its message for girls. The ultimate goal, for all 50 role models, is to increase the leadership of women.
Summarizes Ilaria Tiezzi, CEO of BrandOn (online sales): For me, being a leader in innovative and technological fields is a source of pride and strong responsibility, not only towards the team and shareholders, but also towards young people. With my work I would like to push them not to set limits, to fully believe in their potential which, nourished and supported by tenacity and professionalism, will allow them to reach extraordinary goals, while making society more just: open, merit-based and inclusive.