IBSA & BPW Club Ticino united once again in 2024 for gender equality and female empowerment20 October 2023
The 2023 Nobel Prize in Economics – awarded to Claudia Goldin “for improving understanding of the role of women in the labour market” – is also an indirect recognition for those who are committed to ensuring gender equality and equal pay, social inclusion and impartiality in professional development opportunities.
These topics are promoted and sponsored by IBSA as part of its commitment to supporting the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, which materialise, among other things, in the partnership with the Business Professional Women (BPW) Club Ticino, started in 2020 and now confirmed for 2024 also.
BPW CLUB TICINO: A NETWORK OF WOMEN FOR WOMEN
Founded in Lugano (CH) in 1983, the BPW Club Ticino is part of BPW Switzerland, which in turn is part of BPW International, the largest women’s network in the world, with 30,000 members.
The BPW Club Ticino relies on 67 members committed to promoting pay and social security equity between men and women and to giving a concrete support to girls and young professionals for their informed inclusion into the labour market.
The activities promoted by BPW Ticino, with IBSA’s support, aim to raise awareness among today’s and tomorrow’s professionals, and are focused on four main areas:
- Training and support for young women, with the annual event Divertiamoci con STEAM (“Let’s have fun with STEAM” – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics), a workshop for young students aimed at fighting the cliché of “unsuitability” of women for scientific professions.
- Equal pay, with the Equal Pay Day, a campaign promoted throughout Switzerland to raise awareness of the issues of the wage gap and social security inequality.
- Mentoring, a programme born in 2020 in collaboration with USI (Università della Svizzera Italiana, University of Italian Switzerland) in Lugano, which aims to promote and develop the professionalism and leadership of women through one-to-one consultancy activities.
- Networking, a cycle of informal recreational-informative activities and monthly happy hours to exchange experiences and develop contacts and relationships, based on a reciprocity bond.
Finally, modelled on what already happens in BPW Switzerland, BPW Club Ticino is committed to disseminating knowledge, as well as access to the scholarship (Project Lena) aimed at women who are experiencing a critical professional phase and need concrete support - also from a training perspective - to restart their activity and regain their self-confidence.
CONCRETE ACTIONS, TO TRIGGER CULTURAL AND SOCIAL CHANGE
IBSA is committed to supporting women’s personal and professional growth, ensuring a work environment that promotes a balance between professional and personal life, as well as diversity as an essential value. And it is also proud to promote female leadership, recognising and enhancing the merit of women who hold top roles within the company; a commitment that translates into concrete results, with a female presence of 29% among the company’s top management positions and 49% at department head level. In particular, within the Research & Development department, 70% of the team is made up of women, who operate in crucial roles as researchers and analysts. Thanks to their know-how and their driving passion, IBSA researchers make a valuable contribution to the company, which has made innovation one of its central pillars.
WOMEN WHO HAVE CHANGED (AND WILL CHANGE) THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE
Focusing attention also on the other 2023 Nobel Prize, awarded to Katalin Karikó for her discoveries, that allowed the development of messenger RNA vaccines effective against COVID-19, we can argue that women constitute a critical pillar in the scientific and technological sector. However, it is a fact that there are still many obstacles between women and the proper recognition of their talent. For example, out of 965 people (1901-2023) who were awarded the Nobel Prize, only 65 (less than 7%) were women, and of these only 13 of them received the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
In order to emphasise and talk about the great contribution that these scientists have introduced into the medical field, IBSA Foundation for scientific research created the illustrated book Donne che hanno cambiato la storia della medicina (“Women who changed the history of medicine”), with the aim of disseminating the stories of those who contributed to the future of medicine, also as a guide for new generations of young women.
Combined with the concrete actions carried out by organisations such as BPW Ticino, the activities of communication and promotion of scientific culture, such as those of IBSA Foundation, are critical to introduce the vital lymph necessary to knock down gender gap and help create a more equal society.