Zurich – Last Saturday, EPFL launched the Swiss TecLadies mentoring program of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences SATW, in which about 200 people participate. 120 pupils from all over the country met with each other and with their mentors for the first time. From September 2022 to June 2023, mentors will support girls as advisers and role models.
Welcome day: signal to start the mentoring program
At the heart of the EPFL – a highly symbolic arena of innovation – the launch signal was given to the third edition of the mentoring program, which gives girls 13-16 years old an exciting insight into technical competition and thus promotes them in MINT disciplines. “In order to counter the shortage of skilled workers in the areas of IT and technology, it is important to promote young women who can certainly take their place in these still male dominated professions,” he explains. Sandra Weidmann, Swiss TecLadies program manager. Swiss TecLadies is working with the Research Center for Vocational Psychology and Counseling (CePCO) at UNIL University of Lausanne to make the program as impactful as possible.
The day began with a plenary session in the EPFL main hall and with welcoming speeches by EPFL’s SPS Science Promotion Unit Manager, Dr. Farnaz Moser-Boroumand and SATW President prof. dr hab. Benoit Dubuis. This was followed by presentations by various famous female personalities in the fields of technology, information technology and space travel.
On stage, well-known experts such as Deborah Müller, advisor on space technologies and industrial relations, the Swiss delegation from ESA Technology Harmonization and mentor for German-speaking Switzerland, Eleonore Poli, PhD student and analog astronaut, and prof. dr. Speaking by Monica Landoni, researcher and consultant at the IT department of Università della Svizzera italiana USI, and a mentor for southern Switzerland. There was so much vigor and enthusiasm in their works that they were able to convince the fascinated audience of their passion for individual activities. They showed the great importance of science to the challenges of modern society and called on young women to enter these disciplines to help shape the world of tomorrow.
Have fun getting to know each other
After these presentations, it is time for the mentees and mentors to find their counterparts in the room. The search was accompanied by the music of the Post Tenebrass band. To break the ice, several speed dating questions had to be answered within minutes.
After lunch, the pupils could take part in programming workshops conducted in German, French and Italian by the SPS department at EPFL. Dr. Farnaz Moser-Boroumand explained: “To meet the present and future challenges of our society, we need scientists and engineers, women and men. Therefore, it is important to give girls all the tools they need to build self-confidence to pursue careers in science and technology. ‘ During this time, mentors took part in workshops organized by RADAR RP on “Better communication in science” or in an information session on “Being a mentor for TecLady”.
One for all, all for one! The afternoon was devoted to getting to know each other better. Participants had to join forces to complete the campus race. To finish the Welcome Day, parents and legal representatives were invited to an aperitif.
Mentors and their companies
The mentors involved in the program are specialists in the fields of technology, science, IT and space travel. They work for a number of different companies as listed below.
ABB Schweiz AG, Acutronic Switzerland Ltd., Adolph Merkle Institute, Amministrazione Cantonale, Avaloq AG, B + S AG Luzern, BKW, Borlini e Zanini SA, Boydak Automation AG, CABB AG, Caterpillar Sarl, CERN, CFF – SBB – FFS, Commune de Riddes, CRB, dbi services, DEPsys, Ecole Changins, Energie Wasser Bern (EWB), EOC-Istituto Cantonale Pathologia, EPFL, ETH Zurich, University of Applied Sciences Graubünden, Fédération des Hôpitaux Vaudois informatique, FHGR University of Applied Sciences Grabünden , Fondation impactIA, Building Insurance Zurich (GVZ), Geotest AG, HEG ARC, HES-SO, Hitachi Energy, Buchs University of Applied Sciences, NTB, Humabs BioMed, IBM Research Europe, Idiap Research Institute, IDSIA – USI / SUPSI, Istituto di Ricerca in Biomedicina, Johnson & Johnson, Jungfrau Railways, Cantonal Administration of Appenzell I.Rh., L’Occitane International, Logitech, Lonza, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts Engineering and Architecture, MathWorks, matriq AG, maxon internationa l ag, media f, Friborg (Groupe Saint-Paul), NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Novita Engineering, PH Zurich, pit team GmbH, Rheinmetall Air Defense AG, Roche, ROLEX SA, RUAG International, SAAM, Schiller AG, SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, SICK System Engineering AG, Straumann, Suisseplan Ingenieure AG, Sulzer Chemtech AG, SUPSI, Swiss AI AG, Swiss Timing, Swisscom, ti & m, Transports lausannois, Trivadis – part of Accenture, University of Zurich, Université de Friborg, Urbio (Start -Up), USI, Vacheron Constantin, Ville de Lausanne, Weidmann Fiber technology from Weidmann Electrical Technology AG, partner Wüest, studio d’ingegneria Zanini Gozzi Sagl, Zollinger Bio Sàrl. (Swiss TecLadies / mc / hfu)