For 10 years now, Bialystok University of Technology has been co-organising the ‘Girls to Technical Universities!’ campaign aiming at promoting education in technical sciences and working in industry among girls and women.
‘Innovation is necessary for building knowledge-based societies and economies targeted at global competitiveness. Participation of women in this process is one of the key conditions for its success’, – argues the Perspektywy Foundation coordinating the campaign.
And that is why promoting women’s presence at technical universities – both among students and scientific staff – is so important.
Women’s representation in BUT authorities
Since the 13 term, i.e. since September 2008, women have always been elected to the highest authorities of our University. The first female Vice-Rector for Students’ Affairs and Education was Katarzyna Zabielska-Adamska, DSc, PhD, Eng, and during the 14th term this position was held by Grażyna Łaska, DSc, PhD. In September 2016, Marta Kosior-Kazberuk, DSc, PhD, Eng, became the Vice-Rector for Education and International Cooperation.
Out of the 7 Faculties making up our University, 6 have male Deans – the only exception is the Faculty of Management at which this position is held by Assoc. Prof. Joanna Ejdys, DSc, PhD. There are 23 Vice-Deans at all the Faculties in total, out of which as many as 12 are women.
…and among students
At present, women at BUT comprise slightly above 37% of all students; the statistics are a little higher for full-time students (just above 41%).
Since the academic year 2008/2009, the percentage of women opting for strictly technical fields of study has increased. For example, in one of the least female-dominated fields of study – Electrical Engineering – women comprised 3.2% of all students 8 years ago and now – 6.6%. The percentage of women studying Computer Science has risen from 9.7% to 12.9% in the present academic year, while the statistics for Automatic Control and Robotics are 4.7% and 10.6%, respectively (in other words, there were 18 female students 8 years ago and now there are 44). Also Civil Engineering has become more popular among women: 10 years ago, women in this field of study made up 25.1% of all students and now the number has gone up to 30.9%.
Conference on 30 March
We would like to sustain this interest in technical fields of study, and therefore we have the pleasure to once again invite secondary school students, their teachers, tutors, and job counsellors to our conference Programming the future at Bialystok University of Technology. The conference will take place on 30 March at the BUT Faculty of Electrical Engineering. Bianka Siwińska, PhD, from the Perspektywy Foundation, will present the results of the ‘Girls to Technical Universities!’ campaign. The designers of the Photon educational robot will talk about how to teach programming and what programming will look like in the future. Studies are the first step in a professional career, so Dominika Bettman, Chief Financial Officer of the Siemens firm, will give a few tips on how to programme ourselves professionally. Monika Aksamit-Koperska, PhD, a well-known promoter of science, will argue that Nobody can take away what we have learned. Among others, Ms Aksamit-Koperska will present the benefits of having a scientific view of the world and she will also advise the audience on how to efficiently popularise what we have to say. Ms Katarzyna Żelazowska from the Superbelfrzy (Superteachers) group will present her methods of teaching scientific subjects passionately with the use of technology. We have also invited representatives of innovative firms employing our male and female students: Siemens, Forte, Plum, Unibep, Electrum, and APS, as well as employees of the Careers Office of Bialystok University of Technology, to take part in the conference discussions.