Repsol professionals are role models for young students in STEM12.02.2020
According to the United Nations, a gender gap in STEM areas has existed for years around the world. Although women’s participation in higher education has significantly increased, they still lack representation in the STEM field. The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is a time to assert the role of women in the field and continue to promote the younger generation’s drive.
At a key time for the energy industry and the planet’s future, promoting women's talent in technical fields is one of Repsol’s priorities. "We need to have all of the talent available," comments Arturo Gonzalo Aizpiri, Executive Managing Director of People and Organisation.
Recently, several female Repsol professionals were able to share experiences with 26 women from Latin America who are studying graduate programmes in the STEM field in Spain, thanks to a scholarship provided by Repsol Foundation and Fundación Carolina.
During the event, Arturo Gonzalo welcomed the participants and highlighted Repsol’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as a source of competitiveness and value creation for the Company.
The director of Fundación Carolina, Jose Antonio Sanahuja, explained the foundation's commitment to promoting cultural and educational relations with Latin America, as well as his conviction that "the contribution of women in all fields, including science and technology, improves societies and is essential for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the 2030 Agenda".
On Repsol Foundation’s behalf, Antonio Calçada, the entity’s vice president, highlighted the emergence of a new economy in which countries not only have to report their financial activity but also their social and environmental impact. The vice president of Repsol Foundation noted that "the importance of innovation and technology in this new economy means we cannot spare any talent, which is why women have a very relevant role to play in the future."
The event continued with an interesting round table discussion in which nine Repsol professionals shared their experiences with the young students. Marta Camacho, director of Institutional Relations in Spain and Europe; Rosa Juárez, director of the Puertollano Industrial Facility; Nuria Ábalos, director of the Blockchain Hub, RPA, and Digital Experimentation; Sonia Hernández, manager of Sustainability Models and Plans; Pilar Martí, director of Training and Learning; Elena Izaguirre, director of Spain’s Exploration and Production Business Unit; Flavia Alonso, Production and Reservoir Engineer, Mariana Sánchez, Technical Assistance and Development Engineer of the Chemicals Business Unit; and, as a moderator, Silvia Sotillo, manager of Selection and Mobility, all addressed topics such as the role of women in leadership roles, professional projection and development, work-life balance, and future challenges.
Later, the scholarship recipients visited an Upstream room in the Repsol Campus and met with the Teams and Talent, who gave them beneficial advice and helped them identify and value their individual abilities and skills.
In the afternoon, they went to the Repsol Technology Lab to get to know the innovation projects that are being developed in this leading centre. During their visit, our experts showed them how the solar panels work and how they take the most advantage out of solar energy. They discovered the latest advances in fuels in terms of racing and got to know how the control rooms in refineries work.
This was, without a doubt, an opportunity in which 26 young women were able to strengthen their drive toward technical and scientific areas, as well as share their worries with Repsol professionals in order to continue promoting female talent in STEM fields. As Arturo Gonzalo said, "It was a shared day of reflection on the challenges of female leadership in technical areas, and a demonstration on how women are key to making the energy transition possible."
Repsol Foundation and Fundación Carolina have grown stronger over the course of 2019-2020, awarding up to 37 scholarships so that students from Latin America can come to Spain and attend graduate school to focus on technical and scientific areas.