NEREUS hosted the 5th infosession on education/training in the space sector on April 4th from 11:00-12:00 (Brussels time). The webinar highlighted the significant contribution of women to the space sector and explored strategies to promote education and training to attract more women to the industry, including the necessary skills. A panel of esteemed professionals from the space industry participated, shared their perspectives, interacted with the audience, and proposed potential solutions. Ms. Margarita Chrysaki provided an overview of the Network’s education/training activities and how they support the involvement of women in the space sector.
During the event, Ms. Emma Bousquet, a representative from CEREMA, a French research organization and NEREUS Associate member, discussed the status of gender equality and skill identification in her organization. She, also, elaborated on why some skills are more commonly associated with women than men.
Following that, Ms. Fiorella Coliolo, the organizer of the Space for our Planet exhibition, shared her thoughts on how the exhibition emphasizes the importance of women’s contributions to the space sector. She, also, presented regional profiles of women and shared feedback she received from both women and men.
Ms. Aida Monfort Muriach, a Researcher & Developer in GEOTEC: Geospatial Technologies Research Group at the Universitat Jaume, discussed the Women in Copernicus initiative during the event. She highlighted key achievements of women working in the space sector based on her experience in several EU projects. Ms. Muriach emphasized the importance of networking, mentoring, and leadership positions in projects to better address gender equality in the field.
Ms. Nancy Vermeulen, the final speaker of the webinar, is an astrophysicist, pilot instructor, founder of the Space Training Academy, Stakeholder Manager Flanders Einstein Telescope, and President of Women in Aerospace. During her speech, she presented her network’s initiatives in supporting women in the space industry. She, also, noted that the opportunities for women to hold high-level positions in the hierarchy depend on the company and country’s philosophy.
Mr. Emmanuel Pajot, the Secretary General of the European Association of Remote Sensing, shared his perspective during the event. He mentioned that the percentage of women in the downstream space sector has increased slightly (2%) but remains low due to several factors such as biased hiring processes and self-confidence issues. He suggested that men can play a crucial role in changing this approach and encouraging women to work in the space sector.
One of the main takeaways from the webinar was that the interdisciplinary nature of the space sector provides opportunities for women and men from diverse professional and educational backgrounds. This inclusivity can be a significant step towards addressing gender imbalance issues.
The next webinar (link) will take place on the 17 of May (11-12) focused on the need for skills on space policy and strategy in Europe with Ms Simonetta Di Pippo, Director SEELab (Space Economy Evolution Lab) Professor of Practice of Space Economy and Dr. Bleddyn Bowen, Associate Professor, Astropolitics and Space Warfare School of History, Politics, and International Relations University of Leicester as key speakers.
Watch the full webinar here: