THE PROMISING AND POTENTIAL ROLE OF BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING: THE WEWOMENGINEERS COMMUNITY EXPERIENCE FOR RAISING AWARENESS IN THE BIOMEDICAL FIELD

Authors: Manuela Appendino, Maria Agnese Pirozzi, Giusi Di Salvio, Veronica Moi, Serena
Bertoldi, Elisa Panero, Giuseppina Berardone, Sabina Maglio,
Laura Berretta, Debora Truncellito, Francesca Albano

The BioMedical Engineering (BME) is a worldwide interesting field finding applications in many environments, from research to the direct clinical interaction with patients. Gender segregation in engineering fields, traditionally regarded as masculine, is much more pronounced in advanced industrialized countries. Currently we are moving from the concept of gender equity to gender equality. Gender Equity is distinct and different from Gender Equality, referring that different gender, behaviour, aspirations and needs of women and men are indifferently considered, valued, and equally favoured (ILO, 2000). In the world, many programs operate for improving careers and reducing diversity in engineering fields. WeWomEngineers (WWE) born to have a direct association with women, especially by social media to reduce distances, and works across 4 focuses: capacity building, mentoring, awareness of talent, inclusiveness. It is a real community, searching a balance between equity and equality. WWE is the first European Community that intercepted 70 stories from girls, being still far from the perspective of equal opportunities and still often containing specific dynamics, called invisible barriers. WWE is changing the focus by main requests of those who needed explanations on future opportunities and risks, involving 20 biomedical engineers (internal team), mostly women, both students and workers, PhD Students, researchers and professionals in the field of medical devices to take part in events, communications and writing from biomedical areas. WWE took part in 4 international conferences, 23 events in Italy inspiring dozens of young biomedical engineers (extra-WWE), and in a career day (MEDTECHDAY), promoted by Jobadvisor, which involved almost 400 others. WWE is also actively working in an international program to motivate girls and male by WWE’s biomedical stories, and in the National Movement InclusioneDonna, concerning priority issues to increase female employment and representation. WWE dreams to develop a network including the Women Committee IFMBE, increasing the presence of biomedical women in the workplaces, in according to the fifth ONU Global Goals (Gender Equality) and supporting in the recognition not only legal but real of the role of biomedical engineers. Thus, we recognize the need to sensitize the biomedical relationships, reducing any type of invisible barrier by mentoring young people for identification of a specific biomedical role for both genders.

Know the authors

Manuela Appendino

Manuela Appendino

Maria Agnese Pirozzi

Mayra Pirozzi

Giusi Di Salvio

Giusi Di Salvio

Veronica Moi

Veronica Moi

Serena Bertoldi

Elisa Panero

Elisa Panero

Giuseppina Berardone

Sabina Maglio

Sabina Maglio

Laura Berretta

Debora Truncellito

Debora Truncellito

Francesca Albano

Francesca Albano