Tarragona team continues to inspire the next generation of female scientists and technicians
Throughout the 2022-23 edition of the program, a team of four, Verónica Gómez, GWTC R&D Manager and Site Leader, Sonia Vila GWTC Applications Leader, Lorena Barberà, DWS Technical Sales Representative and Guillem Gilabert, DWS Desalination R&D Leader, facilitated a wide range of activities designed to enhance gender equality and inspire young girls to seize career opportunities in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) related professions.
“We have had another successful year participating in the Inspira STEAM initiative, shining a spotlight on the exciting and diverse career opportunities available within the water industry,” said Verónica Gómez. “It has been a wonderful experience, helping young people to uncover their passion for science and engineering, hopefully giving them the motivation to explore academic courses and vocations in these arenas.”
Acting as mentors and coaches to the young people participating in the program, the team at Tarragona drew on their personal professional experience, functioning as real-world role models in addition to highlighting moments in history where women have contributed to pivotal scientific breakthroughs. “Supporting the curiosity and ingenuity of young scientists is incredibly rewarding,” said Sonia Vila. “Together with colleagues from university programmes, we were able to dispel many of the outdated myths about women in science, raising awareness of how women have played a critical role both historically and in the present day.”
Many of the activities delivered through Inspira STEAM are interactive, designed to challenge the participants and encourage them to solve problems through experimentation. The participants are organized into small groups for each of the activity sessions to help foster dynamic discussion, the generation of new ideas and promote greater self-reflection. “I’ve really enjoyed working with so many inquisitive young people, helping them learn about the value of water,” said Lorena Barbera. “We used a variety of experiments to explore different scientific concepts and help them understand the critical role that water plays in the function of the modern world.”
Launched by the University of Deusto in 2016 to help counter the underrepresentation of women in STEAM professions and a general decline in the number of students opting for STEAM courses, thousands of young people have participated in Inspira STEAM activities with the aid of mentors from academia and industry. “I have worked alongside some amazing women throughout my more than a decade-long career at DuPont,” said Guillem Gilabert Oriol. “The Inspira STEAM initiative offers us the opportunity to highlight the invaluable contributions that women bring to the team every single day, inspiring the next generation of scientists and technicians.”
The DuPont team in Tarragona is already planning how they can contribute to the 2023-24 edition of the program when it begins at the start of the next academic year.