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Women in STEM

Many scholars and policymakers have noted that the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have remained predominantly male with historically low participation among women since the origins of these fields during the Age of Enlightenment.

There is a whole tangle of reasons why the gender gap in STEM exists. One is a pipeline issue – fewer girls than boys choose to study STEM subjects at secondary school and university. Interventions internationally mean the numbers of girls in STEM subjects are creeping up very slowly, but the gap remains surprisingly resistant, nonetheless.

Research from different perspectives converges on the idea that there is little to no difference in boys’ and girls’ average ability at STEM subjects. This means that in order to attract more girls to study STEM subjects at university and enter STEM careers, we need to tackle the stereotypes they are exposed to, and we need to do this early.

One way to encourage girls is to use appropriate role models. Another way is giving them enough information and knowledge about STEM fields and help them in making a vision for themselves in STEM roles. 


UNINOVA and Nova School of Science and Technology and Women in STEM

The NOVA School of Science and Technology participates in the projects that are integrated in the National Strategy for Equality and Non-Discrimination “Portugal +Igual” which aims to sensitize girls to the fields of STEM in order to combat occupational segregation by gender and to promote these areas among high school students. For instance, FCT/UNL at 2019 participated once more in the project “Engenheiras por um Dia”, which is now in it's the third edition.


Women in STEM (WoSTEM) is a new, and special program for broadening path for women in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) in UNINOVA and School of Science and Technology of NOVA University of Lisbon. WoSTEM offers women who are university-bound high school juniors an opportunity to experience FCT/UNL and UNINOVA´s labs and gain a better understanding of the STEM fields as they begin their university search process. WoSTEM team providing a program that is intended for women in their junior year (or equivalent) of high school. Participants in this program have special visits to the FCT/UNL campus, UNINOVA facilities, classes, and research spaces participate in workshops, hear from FCT/UNL and UNINOVA alumnae and much more. They also engage in an online program that highlights women's STEM professionals and explores university and research centre’s admission and financial aid. WoSTEM team also are seeking opportunities to provide additional facilities and Labs in STEM fields for supporting women's education and training in the STEM field. We also communicating with industries and businesses to interact their support for WoSTEM program in FCT, The WoSTEM program is FREE.

WoSTEM invitees will:

  • Get an inside-look into FCT/UNL and UNINOVA and learn about their experience from current students, researcher, professors, project coordinators, and high-level leading teams.

  • Interact with other college-bound women from around Europe who shares their passion for STEM. 

  • Engage with NOVA-FCT and UNINOVA through webinars and assignments.

  • Discuss issues of identity and intersectionality by hearing from women in the STEM professions, and explore topics relating to the college search, admission, and financial aid.

Contact with WOSTEM team:

Director: Dr. Sanaz Nikghadam-Hojjati


Phone: +351 218724518

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