On 7 July, CESEDEN hosted the launch of the project "WOMEN, ENGINEERING and DEFENCE" (MID in Spanish), which is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Defence through the Secretary of State for Defence, in collaboration with Isdefe and the Royal Academy of Engineering.
This project seeks to showcase women who have engineering careers in the defence sector, all in an effort to get the word out to society and to prop up female role models in order to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers among girls in secondary education, and attract talent to the defence sector by presenting the opportunities for professional growth within this sector to university students who are studying for a degree in a STEM field.
The decline in STEM vocations at an early age compromises the future development of the sectors that rely heavily on qualified personnel in these areas. In light of the characteristics of the defence sector, we must face this challenge, which requires employing all the talent available, and in which gender equality in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is also essential.
In her speech, the Secretary of State for Defence noted the pivotal moment that Spain and Europe are going through in terms of security and defence. This will entail a budgetary boost aimed at reinforcing the capacities of the Armed Forces, which will undoubtedly require innovation, technology and, ultimately, the incorporation of engineering professionals. She also recalled how these initiatives will always be met by the Ministry of Defence with collaboration, proactivity and optimism, and placed special emphasis on the so-called great policies of the State, namely security and defence, and effective equality between men and women.
The opening presentation of the Women, Engineering and Defence Project featured remarks by Lieutenant General Francisco de Paula Bisbal Pons, Director of the Advanced Centre for National Defence Studies (CESEDEN); Mr Francisco Quereda Rubio, CEO of Isdefe; and Mr Antonio Colino Martínez, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Ms Elena Salgado Méndez, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering's Strategic Council of the "Women and Engineering" project, gave an initial presentation on the project before giving way to the round table featuring the General Secretary of INTA, Major General Patricia Ortega; the Director of Administration and Human Resources at Isdefe, Ms Carmen Canda; the Executive Director of the "Women and Engineering" project at the Royal Academy of Engineering, Ms Sara Gómez; and the Dean of the Polytechnic University of Cartagena, Ms Beatriz Miguel.
Ms Amparo Valcarce, the Secretary of State for Defence and President of Isdefe, took part in the closing ceremony of this event, designed to launch and present the project "Women, Engineering and Defence".
To watch the event, click here: https://youtu.be/-L5VQAs8dZ0