Talent, freedom, commitment and gender equality were some of the words said during the Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo Award Ceremony, held this Monday, March 25th, at Técnico. Besides the award winners, many other talented women participated in the award ceremony and recalled that gender parity is the responsibility of every single one of us.
Professor Arlindo Oliveira, president of Técnico, opened the session and stressed the importance of this award: “If we want to attract top talent we must focus on attracting both genders and, in this sense, a set of initiatives are being developed at Técnico”. The president of Técnico highlighted the courage, the life and achievements of engineer Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo, who he considers to be “an example for all women”. “Thank you for being a role model to future generations”, said professor Arlindo Oliveira to the two award winners.
According to professor Helena Geirinhas, coordinator of the group Gender Balance@Técnico, “although we are able to attract top talent in science and technology areas, we still have a gender imbalance as a result of a traditional view of engineering as a male oriented career. Professor Helena Geirinhas explained: “This award aims to recognise the work of extraordinary women who indelibly mark our history so that they can be a role model for our female students”.
After receiving the award in the Young Alumnae category, Mariana Araújo thanked the jury members and talked about why is engineering an obstacle for many girls. “The obstacles that women face nowadays are not so obvious or so insurmountable and that’s why they are so difficult to overcome; the obstacles are within us and in our beliefs and convictions”, said Mariana Araújo. “The sexist stereotypes that keeps women away from science have many causes that are subtle and, therefore, hard to break”, she added. According to engineer Mariana Araújo, this award is a way of “giving all women freedom to pursue a career in engineering and reminding girls that studying engineering and have a brilliant career is possible”.
“This award recognises professor Manuela Veloso’s notoriety and persistency. She is a woman who embraces new challenges. She is certainly a worthy recipient of this award and she honours the memory of engineer Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo”, said professor Isabel Ribeiro.
Professor Manuela Veloso focused on passion, inspiration and people during her speech. The professor at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) took the opportunity to thank the jury members for the privilege of receiving this award in the Role Model category and to stress the importance of Técnico in her career. “It is very important to give women visibility and to believe in what they say. These small steps can make a big difference”.
“Sharing the experience of successful women in STEM is definitely a way to encourage other women” said the Secretary of State for Citizenship and Equality, Rosa Monteiro, who also praised Técnico for the creation of this award. “Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo was a remarkable woman, pioneer in so many fields, and a gender equality policy maker”, said Rosa Monteiro.