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This paper deals with the problem of a low number of women who perform technical studies or work in technological enterprises. Although we have focused on initiatives which have being taken in Spain, we have also included several studies around the world which try to give women closer to engineering. Once we have reviewed these proposals and confirm that they have not resulted in a growth of women in technologies, we propose other interventions and actions which could improve this situation and thus, provide the set of benefits linked to this fact, such as empathic co-creation from primary education.

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Conference Paper
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La baja representación de las mujeres en las carreras STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) es un problema global que está siendo estudiado y afrontado a través de diversas iniciativas. En este trabajo se presenta un análisis de sobre los factores que influyen en la brecha de género en los estudios STEM, tanto en la elección de la carrera, la retención durante la misma, los apoyos e intervenciones que promueven la diversidad e inclusión. Asimismo, se destacan algunos de los principales retos e iniciativas que podrían ayudar a disminuir la brecha de género en las carreras STEM. Palabras clave: brecha de género, STEM, igualdad, diversidad, inclusión
Conference Paper
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Estudios y trabajos desde hace más de una década indican una escasez persistente de participación de mujeres en el dominio de las disciplinas STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Las mujeres no suelen elegir estudios relacionados con estas disciplinas y su participación en el sector empresarial en las TIC es todavía más bajo. En este artículo se presenta una revisión de la literatura proporcionando iniciativas de interés para combatir esta situación y una discusión de los datos donde se advierten debilidades y retos a alcanzar. Como un paso más en este estudio, se ha utilizado la técnica de encuesta en la comunidad de la Escuela Politécnica Superior (EPS) de la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) con el objetivo de recoger opiniones y analizar factores de esta brecha de género y valorar las posibles acciones que pudieran favorecer el incremento del número de estudiantes mujeres en disciplinas de tecnología e ingeniería en la Universidad. Se presenta el análisis de los datos obtenidos de una muestra de 72 profesores y 140 estudiantes.
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In this commentary on Nye, Su, Rounds, and Drasgow (2012) and Schmidt (2011), I address the value of occupational interest inventories for understanding sex differences in occupational choice and the extent to which occupational interests are malleable. In particular, I argue (a) that some subscales in interest inventories are too heterogeneous to be given a single label and that the labels that are applied to some subscales are inaccurate and misleading; (b) that "things versus people" is an inaccurate and misleading characterization of a dimension that is frequently associated with interest inventories and linked to sex differences; (c) that vocational interests will be valid predictors of job performance primarily in cases in which the job has been held for some time by a diverse group of people and not in cases in which jobholders have been homogeneous; (d) that sex differences in interests are malleable and sensitive to small and subtle environmental cues; and (e) that women's interest in math and science will increase if they have a feeling of belonging and an expectation of success. © The Author(s) 2014.
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Developmental dyslexia, characterized by unexplained difficulty in reading, is associated with behavioral deficits in phonological processing. Functional neuroimaging studies have shown a deficit in the neural mechanisms underlying phonological processing in children and adults with dyslexia. The present study examined whether behavioral remediation ameliorates these dysfunctional neural mechanisms in children with dyslexia. Functional MRI was performed on 20 children with dyslexia (8-12 years old) during phonological processing before and after a remediation program focused on auditory processing and oral language training. Behaviorally, training improved oral language and reading performance. Physiologically, children with dyslexia showed increased activity in multiple brain areas. Increases occurred in left temporo-parietal cortex and left inferior frontal gyrus, bringing brain activation in these regions closer to that seen in normal-reading children. Increased activity was observed also in right-hemisphere frontal and temporal regions and in the anterior cingulate gyrus. Children with dyslexia showed a correlation between the magnitude of increased activation in left temporo-parietal cortex and improvement in oral language ability. These results suggest that a partial remediation of language-processing deficits, resulting in improved reading, ameliorates disrupted function in brain regions associated with phonological processing and produces additional compensatory activation in other brain regions.
Conference Paper
The proportion of women in engineering and technology degrees does not reach 30%, and multiple activities are performed worldwide to change this situation. This paper presents the effects of the Girls' Day activities organized at University of Zaragoza (Aragón, Spain) yearly from 2008. It consists on a day where women who play important roles, both in business and research worlds, bring students of secondary education closer to engineering and technology. After five editions, Girls' Day has achieved an extraordinary impact: it has increased the visibility of female engineers in Aragón; more female students know what engineering is about and are willing to become one; the government and other institutions have pushed and supported the event and a collaboration network of female engineers in the region has been established.
During early adulthood, a phase in which the central nervous system displays considerable plasticity and in which important cognitive traits are shaped, the effects of exercise on cognition remain poorly understood. We performed a cohort study of all Swedish men born in 1950 through 1976 who were enlisted for military service at age 18 (N = 1,221,727). Of these, 268,496 were full-sibling pairs, 3,147 twin pairs, and 1,432 monozygotic twin pairs. Physical fitness and intelligence performance data were collected during conscription examinations and linked with other national databases for information on school achievement, socioeconomic status, and sibship. Relationships between cardiovascular fitness and intelligence at age 18 were evaluated by linear models in the total cohort and in subgroups of full-sibling pairs and twin pairs. Cardiovascular fitness, as measured by ergometer cycling, positively associated with intelligence after adjusting for relevant confounders (regression coefficient b = 0.172; 95% CI, 0.168-0.176). Similar results were obtained within monozygotic twin pairs. In contrast, muscle strength was not associated with cognitive performance. Cross-twin cross-trait analyses showed that the associations were primarily explained by individual specific, non-shared environmental influences (> or = 80%), whereas heritability explained < 15% of covariation. Cardiovascular fitness changes between age 15 and 18 y predicted cognitive performance at 18 y. Cox proportional-hazards models showed that cardiovascular fitness at age 18 y predicted educational achievements later in life. These data substantiate that physical exercise could be an important instrument for public health initiatives to optimize educational achievements, cognitive performance, as well as disease prevention at the society level.
According to contemporary learning theories, the discrepancy, or error, between the actual and predicted reward determines whether learning occurs when a stimulus is paired with a reward. The role of prediction errors is directly demonstrated by the observation that learning is blocked when the stimulus is paired with a fully predicted reward. By using this blocking procedure, we show that the responses of dopamine neurons to conditioned stimuli was governed differentially by the occurrence of reward prediction errors rather than stimulus-reward associations alone, as was the learning of behavioural reactions. Both behavioural and neuronal learning occurred predominantly when dopamine neurons registered a reward prediction error at the time of the reward. Our data indicate that the use of analytical tests derived from formal behavioural learning theory provides a powerful approach for studying the role of single neurons in learning.
Cooperation based on reciprocal altruism has evolved in only a small number of species, yet it constitutes the core behavioral principle of human social life. The iterated Prisoner's Dilemma Game has been used to model this form of cooperation. We used fMRI to scan 36 women as they played an iterated Prisoner's Dilemma Game with another woman to investigate the neurobiological basis of cooperative social behavior. Mutual cooperation was associated with consistent activation in brain areas that have been linked with reward processing: nucleus accumbens, the caudate nucleus, ventromedial frontal/orbitofrontal cortex, and rostral anterior cingulate cortex. We propose that activation of this neural network positively reinforces reciprocal altruism, thereby motivating subjects to resist the temptation to selfishly accept but not reciprocate favors.
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