WINBLUE Project Workshop on Gender Equality in the Blue Economy in Collaboration with VLPF

June 13, 2024
WINBLUE Project Workshop on Gender Equality in the Blue Economy in Collaboration with VLPF

June 11, 2024 marked a day for gender equality discussion in the Blue Economy as the WINBLUE project hosted an interesting workshop. Held at the premises of Venice Lagoon Plastic Free, an official stakeholder of the EU-funded project, the event featured in-person sessions in Gran Canaria and Venice, as well as virtual participation, all aimed at advancing Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) within the realm of cutting-edge technologies.

The workshop was an opportunity for collaborative learning, bringing together experts, stakeholders, and advocates to discuss and strategize on overcoming gender disparities in the technological sectors of the Blue Economy.

The day commenced with a series of project presentations that offered valuable insights into ongoing initiatives and highlighted the importance of integrating gender equality into technological advancements.

The key presentations included insights from the MUSICA EU project, which highlighted the integration of gender equality into research practices, and discussions on BECE (Blue Economy Cutting-Edge) technologies that showcased strategies for achieving gender balance in the Blue Economy. Efforts to inspire young girls to pursue STEAM careers, and climate neutrality initiatives in the maritime sector, illustrating the broad spectrum of ongoing efforts to enhance gender equality and sustainability.

Additionally, VLPF director Davide Poletto presented the case of SeaClear2.0 autonomous robots in environmental protection, highlighting advanced technology for monitoring and removing marine litter

The second session facilitated a dynamic discussion among participants, delving into the causes of gender disparities in the tech sector. Key topics included the pervasive influence of cultural stereotypes, the importance of building a supportive educational pipeline for women in STEM, and the impact of workplace culture on gender balance. Participants shared strategies for creating inclusive environments, addressing implicit biases in hiring and promotion, and promoting flexible work arrangements to support work-life balance.

The workshop synthesised critical actions to promote gender equality in the Blue Economy. Participants agreed on the necessity of:

  • Challenging and changing cultural stereotypes through targeted initiatives and awareness campaigns.
  • Building a supportive educational pipeline that encourages and retains female talent in STEM fields.
  • Fostering inclusive workplace cultures that value diversity and provide equal opportunities for advancement.
  • Implementing fair and unbiased hiring and promotion practices.
  • Promoting flexible work arrangements to support work-life balance for all employees.
The collaborative discussions and shared insights from the WINBLUE co-creation workshop have set the stage for developing effective Gender Equality Plans, promoting a more inclusive and equitable future in the technological sectors of the Blue Economy. Venice Lagoon Plastic Free is proud to be a part of this initiative.