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On June 16, 2021, EUGAIN hosted the first (virtual) Meet-up with existing initiatives striving to improve gender balance in informatics across Europe. The purpose of the meet-up was to:

– give the initiatives a space to share and learn from each other,
– to earn about the differences among countries (barriers and strategies), and
– to learn about the landscape of similar initiatives in their country.

In this first edition, nine European countries have been represented by:

– Czechitas (Czech Republic)
– Girls4STEM (Spain)
– (Germany)
– Habitat Derneği (Turkey)
– Engenheiras Por Um Dia (Portugal)
– Women In Tech.Brussels (Belgium)
– GirlTHing Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
– Aj ty v IT (Slovakia)
– CodePlus (Ireland)

Each initiative presented its motivation to start the initiative, their work, highlighting the activities for secondary school girls, the barriers and effective strategies they see, and the landscape of their country with respect to similar activities.

In the second half of the meetup, the participants of the meet-up were divided into three discussion groups, discussing on the following three topics and later sharing the discussion highlights in a plenary fashion.

1. Role models
Conservative gender roles and missing role models (inspiration)
Family and teachers (encouragement)
How relatable the role models shall be? same age? same program? same goals?

2. Learning environment
Sense of belonging (girls-only spaces, like-minded peers, safe environment)
Confidence (experiencing success, training bravery over perfection)

3. Engaging education
Appropriate education content (more project-based, multidisciplinary, how hands-on and how visually appealing it has to be)
Appropriate pedagogy (how we shall teach girls)

1st meetup wordcloud