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Graphic element Research > Growth > Research projects > Cross-disciplinary projects > Women and science: Engendering European research culture >Ezio Andreta
Graphic element Ezio Andreta: A woman's approach - enthusiasm, originality, freshness
Ezio Andreta

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."

Relationships are vital

"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 community

"The technological 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
Tel. 02.2951660

Relationships are vital
Creating a balanced community

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