Sustainability & CSR

Women and science: an ever stronger link at IBSA

March 8 celebrates International Women’s Day, a date still necessary to remember the gender inequalities persisting in several social spheres and, at the same time, to celebrate the accomplishments achieved so far. Indeed, we are recently witnessing small but important changes in favour of better conditions for women and a greater gender equality. Sensitive to the eradication of all forms of discrimination, IBSA promotes an increasingly open work environment, inclusive and capable of making all its People feel appreciated and valued. After a 15% increase in the general workforce over the two-year period 2018-2020, the Company records an almost total gender equality (48% of company population is female), even in the top roles, where 43% of managers and department heads are women.


Gender equity and the assurance of an equal access to all social spheres are highly topical issues, so much so that they are among the global priorities of UNESCO and the UN, which included them among the objectives of their 2030 Agenda. And yet, women still remain on the side-line in the STEM (acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics) sectors. As reported by the UN, for example, among people with degrees in engineering and computer science, women are 28% and 21%, respectively. Again, according to the latest UNESCO report, only 33% of researchers are women, despite representing 45% of graduates and 55% of master students. On the occasion of March 8 – and a few weeks after the International Day of Women and Girls in Science (February 11) – it seems necessary to keep the attention on the issue high and to promote a paradigm inversion, in order to trigger a real change regarding the participation of women in the various domains of social, cultural and professional life.


In a global context where female participation in scientific fields is still limited, IBSA stands out by going against the current trend, with a very positive figure. In fact, the presence of women in IBSA’s Research and Development stands at 63%. Over the years, the scientific and cultural promotion activities carried out by IBSA Foundation for scientific research have also recognised the assignment of scholarships to girls from all over the world. For example, in the latest edition of the IBSA Foundation Fellowships Program, of the 5 awarded talents, 4 were women.

IBSA therefore firmly believes – and not just in words – in the value of female presence in leadership positions and in the scientific and research areas. Indeed, the time has come to definitively demolish the stereotype according to which scientific contexts and decision-making roles are more suitable for men. And the best way to break down a stereotype is to show what reality is… with facts, numbers and actions. In fact, as well as being possible, change is often also extremely positive.