The Importance of Promoting Alliances Among Women to Foster Greener and Socially Sustainable Industries


Friday, 16 December 2022


Fundación Alvaralice

by Paola Andrea Vásquez Chaux*.

Twenty new podcasts were launched last October narrating the stories of 4 women, including myself, in the fields of farming and environmental sciences for the digital platform Colomb!anas: una biografía colectiva (Colombian women: a collective biography). Through the project Removing Barriers for the Entry, Permanence and Advancement of Women in Science and Technology to Build Green Industries in Colombia, we were honored to contribute to this campaign with stories of women’s leadership in science and green industries. These women come from diverse backgrounds such as college graduates, vocational education, industrial and rural areas, and they all share the barriers they have overcome to achieve positions of autonomy and recognition in their different areas of performance. The podcasts narrate experiences that many women will be able to identify with.

It is important to thank and celebrate the alliance between our two projects, because the “Colomb!anas” platform represents an opportunity to disseminate new female role models in science and green industries; fields in which women are not sufficiently motivated to enter and, once inside, their contributions are not acknowledged. This makes it difficult to inspire other women who would like to pursue the same path. The importance of the Alvaralice Foundation’s work is that the role of women in science and green industries can be made visible and reach broader audiences.

We hope that the social and cultural impact of this alliance towards gender equality will reach public and private decision-making institutions, that can make possible the involvement of women in the process of developing the technological skills required to assume positions of responsibility in the environmental transformation of large and small companies.

The women who participate in the Colomb!anas podcasts are an example of the importance of practical knowledge transfer because we learn more easily by what we do than what we see, as SENA ( DEFINICION DeL SENA o enlace)has taught us. It is necessary that women in education and in the work force are given the opportunity to develop practical exercises to improve their environmental skills in conditions of equal opportunities and free of violence.

If we want rural women entrepreneurs to become environmental and community leaders who preserve natural resources, they must be guaranteed access to simple technical knowledge that allows them to implement clean technologies that are easy to adapt and to sustain economically and technologically. The imposition of foreign technologies that are difficult to maintain in the region should be avoided. Another way to promote women’s leadership in science and green industries is to generate scenarios of interaction with experts in sustainable development.

For all these reasons, I believe that alliances between women and projects with a gender focus have an impact on the deconstruction of gender stereotypes, such as the belief that women are not suitable to work in science and/or environmental technology. These alliances make us stronger, create safe working and learning environments to interact, create and share scientific and empirical knowledge. Promoting the role of women in green industries allows us to advance towards the environmental transformations in industry that the country and the planet require.

*Paola Andrea Vásquez Chaux is a civil engineer with a PhD in rural studies. Professor and researcher at the Universidad Autónoma de Occidente. Director of the project Removing Barriers for the Entry, Permanence and Advancement of Women in Science and Technology to Build Green Industries in Colombia.

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