Thirty students from Barcelona universities joined researchers from BSC’s Computer Applications of Science and Engineering (CASE) department in late November to discuss opportunities at the BSC and in science and engineering more broadly at the first edition of CASE Open Day.
The goal of the event, organized by the CASE department equality commission Equity4CASE, was two-fold: first, to engage with local students and encourage them to apply for positions at the BSC upon graduating, and to promote and give visibility to the work of women researchers within the CASE department.
Research has shown that the presence of women role models can be a driver of retention of young women students in technical fields. The CASE Open Day program was designed to take advantage of that phenomenon, giving students the opportunity to interact directly with CASE’s women researchers.
The students took part in three sessions over the course of the afternoon. In the first session, students were welcomed with a presentation introducing them to the BSC as a whole and the activities of the CASE department. The presentation was given by our very own Fusion Group leader Mervi Mantsinen, who holds the highest position of any woman in the department as its only woman group leader. To conclude the introductory presentation, women researchers from across the department were invited to give a brief introduction of themselves and their work to the group.
Following Mervi’s presentation, BSC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Nataly Buslón gave an overview about gender disparities in STEM and described initiatives that the BSC is undertaking to combat it. In particular, Nataly shared details about the BSC’s recently published Gender Equity Plan, which aims to diversify the center’s workforce and improve the working culture for women researchers.
The next session, a networking hour with BSC researchers, gave the students the chance to break into smaller groups and connect with researchers in a more intimate setting. Fusion Group member Adriana Ghiozzi and former intern Marina Garcia joined Mervi in the networking session to provide their insights to the attendees. Many students were interested in understanding the way that the skills they have acquired in their studies can be applied to the kind of work that is done at the BSC, or in learning more about the student internship programs that the center has to offer.
Finally, the group was led on a tour of the MareNostrum 4 supercomputer, where the students heard about the technical details of the computer and about the history of its previous versions. Many snapped a photo in the iconic chapel that houses the computer.
We are proud to have taken part in the first-ever CASE Open Day and look forward to participating in its future editions!