By Editorial Team
Diversity and inclusion just got more muscle in the European region of the world, with a concentrated effort to empower and encourage women students to pursue careers in engineering. Not only is Synopsys announcing the three winners of our 2021-2022 GIRLS GO Engineering! challenge, but our scholarship and professional development program is looking to expand our reach throughout the European region in the coming years.
GIRLS GO Engineering! is a scholarship and professional development opportunity for women pursuing engineering studies, first piloted in 2019 at seven universities in Portugal and Armenia. In addition to financial scholarships, winners receive professional development support that can include attendance at technology conferences, as well as Synopsys internships. While the pandemic scaled the prize to cash only due to health and safety concerns, it didn’t stop the program from growing. The number of participating partner universities climbed year over year, nearly doubling overall. And, more development opportunities are in the hopper, expanding on the 2019 model, with mentorships, coaching, and more.
“Our hope with GIRLS GO Engineering! is to empower and recognize top female talent in their pursuit of STEM careers,” says Satenik Barseghyan, senior human resources representative, who coordinates the program. “We want to create a greater gender balance in the engineering profession and give women a greater voice in the field of technology.”
The GIRLS GO Engineering! program targets female students in their third and above grades engaged in university studies in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The students are selected based on their motivation letters, academic records, and final interviews. “Criterion is based on the promise that applicants have demonstrated through their academic work,” said Satenik. “But there are a mix of soft skills we consider that are an important part of the criterion, too. Skills such as motivation, innovation mindset, leadership—skills that figure into overall potential.”
For the 2021-2022 season, the program’s partner universities include:
Over the three years of the program, GIRLS GO Engineering! has awarded nine winners among 151 applicants from 12 universities in the cities of Lisbon and Porto, Portugal and Yerevan, Armenia. In the 2022-2023 GIRLS GO season this coming spring, the competition geography is expanding to include more partner universities and an additional city: Gdansk, Poland.
In their annual scoreboard, tracking women in digital careers, the European Commission reports that women comprise only 17% of information and communications technology (ICT) professionals, a category inclusive of hardware engineers. Those women on average earn 19% of their male counterparts. It’s a track record that leaves a lot of room for improvement.
While there have been many studies proving out the advantages of a diverse workforce, a Boston Consulting Group study of over 1,700 companies across six aspects of diversity, inclusive of gender, found that companies with greater than average total diversity had on average:
So, supporting and encouraging women to take up technical careers is not only important for a more equitable society, but getting high marks for diversity and inclusion also correlates to a competitive edge for companies.
In short, providing opportunities and encouragement to women to enter STEM fields and bridge the gap is not only core to good values, but it’s good business.
Synopsys is pleased to announce the 2021-2022 GIRLS GO Engineering! winners. These women are a group of bright and articulate future leaders, getting ready to make a positive mark in the world of innovation, and we are proud to support their efforts.
Beatriz Lourenco, Instituto Superior Técnico – University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
“A motivated and committed engineering student with a vast interest in the fast-paced development of today’s technology who is inspired to learn, grow, and work towards a better and more sustainable world.”
Teresa Pintão, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
“Through engineering I have the dream to overcome challenges that may lead to good changes and the chance to leave my mark in everything I do.”
Zhanna Khojayan, National Polytechnic University of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia
“Engineering is changing the world and I am delighted to be part of it as a girl engineer now and will certainly be in the future.”
As a global electronic design automation (EDA) software leader, Synopsys touches most facets of our modern lifestyle. By virtue of what we do—bringing Smart Everything to life—and where we are—roughly 30 countries globally—increasing diversity and inclusion is central to our values and critical to our success. That’s why we work to provide programs and opportunities that encourage diverse voices in STEM careers. Women’s intelligence, perspectives, and life experiences are essential in helping solve the many challenges we face in the world today to take us to a more balanced and prosperous future for everyone.
The next round of student applications for GIRLS GO Engineering! will occur in the spring of 2022. If you are a university interested in a GIRLS GO Engineering! partnership with Synopsys in the European region, please contact us.
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