In 2015, the United Nations proclaimed February 11 as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science and, this year, CONSERVAL once again vindicates the contribution of the female researchers involved in the joint venture. Indeed, according to the European Commission report ‘She figures 2021: gender in research and innovation‘, which follows 88 indicators related to the career of researcher, there are fields of study in which women continue to be underrepresented, an unfair situation that gives rise to biased research, loss of talent and less capacity for innovation and development. Despite parity having been achieved in terms of the number of researchers with a PhD, women still account for less than a quarter of self-employed workers in the areas of engineering and computer science, hold less than a quarter of decision-making positions at educational institutions, suffer greater precariousness and represent only 42.3% of research personnel, with less access to financing and an insignificant slice of patent rights.
As such, CONSERVAL is following in the footsteps of Rebeca Vázquez, a researcher at the ANFACO-CECOPESCA Sustainability and Circular Economy division, with a view to enhancing the visibility of the role of women in innovation and development, promoting equality and scientific vocation. A Chemical Engineer by trade, Rebeca holds a key position in the value chain designed to unite research work with end users, transferring the latest scientific advances to the pilot plant, where the viability of the proposed processes is illustrated. In the case of CONSERVAL, ANFACO-CECOPESCA conducts several tasks, including perfecting the production of protein hydrolysates and recovering omega-3 rich oils from fish remains in the canning industry.
The UN Assembly, on the occasion of this seventh International Day of Women and Girls in Science, acknowledges the role of women and girls in science, not only as beneficiaries, but also as agents of change, with a view to accelerating progress towards achieving SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. The celebration of this day is led by UNESCO and UN-Women, in collaboration with civil institutions and partners working to promote access and participation of women and girls in science. Use the hashtags #WomenInScience and #February11 to participate in the online chat.