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Diadema opens its doors for a program that encourages the presence of girls and women in science – 01/29/2019

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Young students enrolled in their third year of high school in public schools in the greater ABC area and in D.C. are beginning to walk this month a path that, in addition to opportunity for growth, could mean reducing gender inequality in the world of science. IMCD, a multinational company operating in the chemical field, opened the doors of its unit in Diadema to awaken new interests among students – and perhaps even new dreams – in the Futuras Cientistas project.

In the first phase of the program, eight girls, selected for a 2022 operation, took part in immersion in the company’s laboratories. In the first half of January, students tested the theory and practice of technological development for the chemical sector, conducted by IMCD specialists within the formulations and application procedures aimed at the food, coatings, civil construction, beauty and personal care sectors.

Data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) indicates that less than 30% of researchers in the world are women. Paddling against the tide of low female participation—and drawing inspiration from the curiosity of her father, a self-employed construction worker—it was in Futuras Cientistas that 17-year-old Leticia Rodríguez Santos found an opportunity to resume a childhood desire.

“I’ve always loved chemistry. When I was little, I used to pick things up at home to mix, as if I were in a lab. I saw TV reports talking about science, but I only heard men’s names. In my kid’s mind, I thought women didn’t have space in this market. And when Growing up, I forgot that dream,” recalls the student, who lives in Jardim El Dorado, in Diadema, near the IMCD headquarters.

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“When this opportunity arose, I remembered everything I did when I was little. I wanted to know how it works. Many girls do not understand the possibilities in the field of research. This project clarifies and expands our knowledge,” Leticia highlighted. So much so that now, when she returns home, the young woman shares her newfound learning with her father. In IMCD’s civil construction laboratory, he learned, among other things, the formulas developed to create high-performance concrete, a material used in iconic works, such as MASP (Museu de Arte de São Paulo).

In the coming weeks, the eight girls will begin the second phase of the project: a preparation course for the Enem Exams (National High School Examination). The third step involves mentoring for a professional career. Futuras Cientistas, established by Cetene (Centre for Strategic Technologies in the Northeast), associated with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations, expects that at the end of this journey, students who enter higher education courses in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics will be able to do internships in participating institutions .

Taice Aline Matos de Azevedo, 17, a chemistry student at Etec Cidade Tiradentes, in São Paulo, got up every day at 4 am, catching a crowded bus and subway. Everything to live the laboratory experience. “I came in with no expectations of chemistry. I walked in and completely changed my thinking. I’ve always had the idea of ​​owning my company in the future. I want to make a product myself someday,” he revealed.

IMCD is the first company to support this program. This partnership, which is among the pillars of our work, enables us to create opportunities for low-income girls in the São Paulo metropolitan area,” announced Nicholas Kauffman, IMCD President of the Americas.

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