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:

  • Overcome gender disparity in the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)

  • Increase awareness of women's contributions to scientific disciplines

  • Promote more inclusive education for girls, free of stereotypes and prejudices

  • Support the community of educators, at home and at school.

Mind the STEM Gap is a Fondazione Bracco project launched in 2021.

The Manifesto

Mind the STEM Gap is a Manifesto to be signed, shared and promoted to combat gender stereotypes and facilitate access to the scientific disciplines for girls. It is intended not only for girls and boys, but for everyone in the educational community, including parents and teachers. As well as aunts and uncles, friends, grandparents and siblings.

This is why the Manifesto is available in three different versions: the Manifesto for Girls [and Boys] , the Manifesto at home, and the Manifesto at school.


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:

The network

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:

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.