Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo Award Ceremony 2017 took place this Thursday, March 8, at Técnico. Isabel Vaz and Bárbara Simões, two women graduated at Técnico, representing two different generations and both with an outstanding career, were the winners of the second edition of Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo Award.
The president of Técnico, professor Arlindo Oliveira, opened the session saying “we are here to celebrate the role of women in engineering, in science and in society”. According to the president of Técnico this award “is part of a strategy” to promote gender balance, thus captivating more women “showing that engineering and science aren’t only aimed at men, but instead at everyone who likes intellectual challenges”. Professor Arlindo Oliveira congratulated the winners and thanked them “for being a role model to the new generations”.
Professor Helena Geirinhas, coordinator of the group GenderBalance@IST and member of the jury expressed her happiness. She dedicated most of her speech to the award and the important role played by Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo in the promotion of women’s rights. “This award recognises these two outstanding women who marked different generations”, stressed professor Helena Geirinhas. “Bring women to science and technology is something that we all should do”, she added.
Professor Teresa Duarte, president of the Department of Chemical Engineering, spoke about the academic and career paths of Isabel Vaz, who is currently the president of Luz Saúde Executive Committee. The winner in the Role Model category shared the importance of the years that she spent at Técnico as “the most important and funny years of her life” and “a reason for great pride”. She also thanked everyone who accompanied her throughout the time, because “nobody does anything alone”.
Bárbara Simões, winner in Young Alumnae category, began to say “I think that you all understand how proud I am of being here and receiving this award”. The recent graduate also spoke about the value of women, the challenges required to break stigmas and myths. “We have to fight against the myths and the idea that choosing engineering has nothing to do with gender but with desires”, said Bárbara with full conviction. The alumna also highlighted the role of Técnico and the importance of “attracting more women to engineering, showing that Técnico female graduates can make a difference in the business and consultancy world, thus contributing to change the companies’ culture”.