Director of the EC Research Directorate G (Research
Activities for Industrial Production) Ezio Andreta uses all of his resources,
including an impressive line-up of women staff members, to get the job
done right the first time.
"We should always remember," says Andreta,
"that we must first put our own houses in order before criticising
others. This is why we have to ensure a good representation of women among
the staff of our services. I am very proud to be at the head of a Directorate
that has a good record of increasing numbers of women among the scientific
staff. Today, as a consequence of this long-standing approach, we have
equal numbers of men and women as Head of Unit (two and two) and responsibility
in the work of the Directorate is shared equally."
"I have always
enjoyed working with intelligent, prepared, competent people, and
I have always had the opportunity to select highly qualified women
candidates as scientific officials. I have to admit that I have
a slight preference for them, because of their complementary input
in the definition of a global vision of problems and trends. Besides
their technical competence, women contribute to common work with
three other important aspects: originality, freshness, and enthusiasm.
This is beneficial not only for the results obtained, but also for
the creation of better human relations in the working group. Positive
enthusiasm is contagious and favours creativity. Men do not 'confront'
woman colleagues, but rather 'relate' to them, and this relation
is the vital 'humus', on which new ideas can grow and flourish.
It is on this basis, in my view, that the atmosphere of mutual respect
and consideration, typical of our Directorate, was able to be built.
"Women are also sources of specific and
valuable input in discussions, contributing to more intelligent
conclusions: men's sensibility tends to be of a political, philosophical
nature, whereas women have a more natural sensitivity towards social
interests. They are accustomed to caring for people and consider
the well-being of individuals. They therefore tend to reach more
socially valuable and viable solutions to technical problems.
I do not believe that a broader technological
scope per se will present better opportunities for women's participation
in EU-sponsored research. On the contrary, it is the growing presence
of women in industrial research activities that has actually created
a wider vision of problems, which will offer more and better opportunities
for everyone, men and women. It is a clear example of how their
input has supported and stimulated a new sensibility which looks
at the overall improvement of the quality of life. And this is beneficial
for society as a whole.
||Creating a balanced
content of our Programme at its inception was rather alien to women,
but our effort to open up the industrial technology themes to issues
with a broader perspective and impact has brought a relatively high
presence of female participation in our panels and committees. In
the future the need for 'hybrid engineers' will surely increase
women's participation in projects as well.
We need to create a more gender balanced
scientific community. Even if women are more than the half of the
population, they have been too long under-represented in the research
world. But they have been able to endure this situation and to fight
for the recognition of their full rights. I wonder whether men could
survive in a similar situation: if confronted with a drastic reduction
of their power they would not only suffer individual psychological
crises, but also upset the whole structure of the society as a consequence
of this relational upheaval."
Research DG - Directorate G
Rue Montoyer, 75