FEMININE SITUATION AND SCIENTIFIC STUDIES
Politecnico di Milano (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Few years ago the Italian government set up a competition for an advertising devoted to promoting the presence of females in scientific faculties in the Italian universities. The study was related to the fact that there was evidence that the dominant position in management in Italian companies was in the hands of engineers and of graduated in scientific disciplines, and that the presence of females in scientific faculties was a minorance. In fact, while the population within the Italian universities is for the 52 % of females, only the 19 % of students in computer science are female, and similar percentage are recognizable in engineering and scientific disciplines.
The brief for the required promotion was indeed very ambiguous, and it was evident a clash between the goal and the cultural basis promoting it.
Within the Politecnico di Milano, some first level masters was involved in the theme, and many studies started on the problem.
From those studies many elements went to evidence:
1. the scientific studies are modelled on masculine cultures, and coherent with the power models in the following working environments;
2. the communication required was just related to the push of male behaviour imitation, and not to a deep examination of the problem, and to a related solution:
3. the unique possible change had to be searched in some revolutionary approach.
Following the above considerations, studies have been carried on in the feminine-masculine cultures, based on the studies of Geert Hofstede, and, far from the capability of providing a solution, some criticisms have been formulated for a new direction.
The paper will present:
- the request from the Italian government for the communication inviting women to scientific studies;
- the stereotypical structure of the related brief, then the problems related to the cultural values behind it;
- the criticisms related to the call, to the proposed kind of solutions, and the real needs;
- some elements able to start a debate on the problem, for a change in the approach.
Partial experiences in neighbouring fields will be presented.