On November 23, the final of the ‘Femmes d’Avenir en informatique’ 2021 competition took place. This competition, organised by Marie Hélène Abel, director of the Computer Science Department at UTC, rewards projects which aim at promoting the orientation of young women towards scientific and technological training in computer sciences.
There is nothing quite like having a competition to motivate women to enter the field of computer engineering in all its forms. The underrepresentation of women among engineers varies according to the field . Indeed, they are still largely in the minority in computer engineering. Hence the idea of the Femmes d’Avenir en informatique competition, created with the support of the UTC Partnership Foundation for Innovation. “Organized last November for the first time, with a jury composed of partners from the economic world, communicators, teachers and experts, this contest aims at promoting the training given at UTC and the engineering professions in computer science to young women. But also to fight against preconceived ideas and gender stereotypes, without forgetting to promote gender equality and to encourage young women to become engineers in computer science,” insists Marie-Hélène Abel, director of the Computer Science Engineering department, the first woman in this department since March 2020. A Department that has less than 25% female participation. As for graduates, in 2021 there will be 40 women compared to 115 men.
Women are the soul and future for the digital world
Among the projects proposed are the organisation of conferences held by female lecturer-research scientists and graduates of the UTC, as well as an exhibition on computer science heroines. Another proposal consists of creating video tutorials to present the computer science professions.
The idea also arose to change the name of the Computer Science department to Digital. A group of students from UTC even want to go and speak in secondary schools to raise awareness of this subject among the youngest. “Others suggested creating an Instagram account or even an association. In all, six projects were presented by students and graduates, and several of their ideas will be implemented very soon. We will certainly relaunch the competition at the end of the year in a different form,” says Marie-Hélène Abel, who has been UTC’s ‘equality’ advisor since December 2021.