It is still difficult for women to access the world of the sciences because of gender bias and stereotypes. Mind the Stem Gap aims to:
Mind the Stem Gap is a Fondazione Bracco project launched in 2021.
Mind the Stem Gap proposes a Manifesto to be signed, shared and promoted to combat gender stereotypes and facilitate access to the scientific disciplines for girls.
It targets everyone in the educational community who has an impact on the growth of girls and young women: parents and teachers, above all. But also aunts and uncles, friends, grandparents and siblings.
It’s available in two versions: one for the Home and one for the School. It targets everyone in the educational community who has an impact on the growth of girls and young women: parents and teachers, above all. But also aunts and uncles, friends, grandparents and siblings.
Mind the Stem Gap is a project which began in 2021 drawing on years of projects conceived and promoted by Fondazione Bracco to combat gender stereotypes, draw attention to the achievements of women experts in fields still perceived as part of the male domain and supporting inclusive educational experiences:
- "100 women against stereotypes: an instrument for allowing experts to speak, starting from science" (2016 - the present)
- The exhibition "Life as a scientist" (2019 - the present)
- "Science hour Call", an inclusive teaching project for secondary schools (2020 - 2021)
- A week as a researcher (2016 – the present)
- "Paperina and scientific selection": a cartoon strip to tell of female competences (2020)
- Kiriku - At inclusion school project against educational poverty in Baranzate (2018 - 2021)
Fondazione Bracco’s projects are participatory. Over the years, a network has been built around the Foundation, in which discussion, listening and teamwork are the key values. Building intelligent networks combining different skills around common goals is one of the keys to our work.
The networks support and promote the “Mind the Stem Gap” Manifesto:
- B20 Special Initiative on Women Empowerment (SIWE)
- Lazio Regional Scholastic Office (USR Lazio)
- Lombardy Regional Scholastic Office (USR Lombardia)
- Fondazione Giuseppina Mai di Confindustria (confindustria.it/home/fondazione-mai/fondazione-mai-homepage)
- “100 women against stereotypes” project (#100esperte | 100esperte.it)
- STEAMiamoci (steamiamoci.it)
- Women&Tech - Associazione Donne e Tecnologie (www.womentech.eu)
- Womenomics (womenomics.it)
- Professor Giuliano Vivanet and Professor Daniela Fadda (University of Cagliari)
How Mind the Stem Gap writes
Overcoming gender stereotypes and facilitating access to the scientific disciplines for girls is a complex challenge. Writing in an inclusive way that respects gender differences also demands that we make certain choices. We all realise that language is a living and continually evolving being: language is not just a tool for communication or a neutral description of the reality around us. Language means a way of interpreting the world, which may discourage or encourage change.
In preparing the content for this site, we apply the recommendations and considerations of specialists who have worked on the language used by institutions, the media and civic society.
We do not use the asterisk or the schwa, at least for the time being: we are waiting to see whether their use will become common in the near future.
Italian language references
Guidelines for the use of language respecting gender differences of Italy’s internal revenue agency, Agenzia delle Entrate (2020)
Guidelines for the use of gender in the administrative language of the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR)
Guidelines for the use of gender in administrative language issued by the Accademia della Crusca
Guidelines for gender neutrality in language used in the European Parliament
Study of gender-neutral language
The opinion of linguist Giuseppe Antonelli on asterisks and the schwa.
English language references
Language guidelines of UN Women, the United Nations agency for female empowerment.
Guidelines for United Nations staff.
Guidelines of the European Parliament.
NATO gender-inclusive language manual.