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Austrian Embassy, partner advocates launch First Women in STEAM Summit in Phl

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Seeking to inspire and encourage more women to break barriers as they take the path towards STEM learning and careers, the Austrian Embassy in Manila, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, and UP National Institute of Science and Mathematics Education and EURAXESS ASEAN successfully held the Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) summit on 08 March 2023.

The summit was launched online in celebration of the International Women’s Day and the UN International Day of Women and Girls in STEM underscored the need and call for more equal opportunities for women in Science and Technology.  

Present to signify their steadfast support for the need for more women to be involved in STEAM-related industries are women advocates and champions from government institutions, the diplomatic corps and the academe. Among them are Austrian Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Johann Brieger, Mr. Gustavo Gonzalez, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations, Executive Director Kristine Yuzon-Chaves of the Philippine Commission for Women, Undersecretary Jocelle Batapa-Sigue of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, and Dr. Sheryl Monterola, Executive Director of the UP National Institute of Science and Mathematics Education.

In his opening remarks Ambassador Johann Brieger highlighted the role of arts and culture in addressing gender issues in science and technology, and promoting equal opportunities for the access of women and girls to STEAM education, careers and digital tools.

“We, at the Austrian Embassy Manila, recognize and advocate the need for high proportion of women in STEAM so that old role models and stereotypes can finally be broken down. It is my hope that through this summit, participation and visibility of girls and young women in future industries can be clearly strengthened. Austria shares with the Philippines the collective responsibility to increase the number of women and girls in STEAM, and will continue to forge strong partnerships to educate, inspire, and empower women and the youth to develop their ideas, establish new network connections and achieve more creative freedom and professional advancement.” shared Ambassador Johann Brieger.

UN Resident Coordinator Gustavo Gonzalez congratulated the proponents and partners of the program in his Message of Support and at the same time, called for long-term change and for more role models for women as the struggle for gender equality remains. 

The goal of the program and our goal as an international development community is to get more girls and women interested, trained, graduated and employed in the future of work in STEM…unfortunately, and inspite of the very best concerted efforts of the global community to engage more girls and women in Science and Technology, the truth is that girls and women still remain underrepresented in these areas, so more clearly need to be done,” he said. 

The virtual launch featured an engaging presentation and panel discussion by Engr. Susanne Supper, Head of the Innovation Laboratory of Green Energy Lab in Austria, Austrian impact entrepreneur Anna Greil, CEO of Uptraded.com, and Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, Undersecretary for ICT Development of the Department of Information and Communications Techology (DICT).

The First Women in STEAM Summit in the Philippines will bring together Austrian and Filipino women scientists, technologists, innovators, artists, and entrepreneurs and will consist of online and in person workshops to be held at the UP National Institute of Science and Mathematics Education in Diliman, Quezon City on 17 March 2023 featuring Austrian Heritage Conservator and Artist Ms. Bettina Schleier, Ms. Frei Sangil of Layertech Software Laboratories, composer and sound designer Ms. Teresa Barrozo, Austrian and Cultural Scientists Elke Zobl and Bettina Egger of the University of Salzburg, Dr. Jenny Lind Elmaco, Regional Coordinator of EURAXESS, and Dr .Ruby Cristobal of Radyo Henyo DZRH-MBC.

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