72% of the world's scientific researchers are men, according to UNESCO. Why is it that so few women choose to go into science? Why is it still the case that girls who choose an academic career in technology are in the minority? Psychologists believe that the phenomenon is related to gender roles and early assimilation of those expectations. At six years old, children are already able to pick up on stereotypes and social clichés, and at as young as 10, they may begin to exhibit the limiting beliefs associated with these spurious cultural, social or skill-related patterns.
To help promote equal opportunities and demolish the gender roles associated with careers in science and technology, we have designed a series of workshops called "Co-education in the classroom. Dismantling gender stereotypes in school". The workshops have already been delivered at three secondary schools in the Madrid area.
Through fun and practical activities organised by a team of educational psychologists specialising in gender equality, over 150 students and 30 teachers have already taken part in this initiative to help break down stereotypes in terms of attitudes, behaviours, environments and language.