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5th edition award

CaixaBank and Microsoft present the WONNOW Awards to the best female STEM degree students in Spain

Gonzalo Gortázar, Chief Executive Officer of CaixaBank, and Alberto Granados, President of Microsoft in Spain, presented the WONNOW Awards to the best female STEM degree students - sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics - from Spanish universities.

Through this initiative, both organisations reward, for the fifth consecutive year, female excellence in technical university degrees, promote diversity and help to reduce the gender gap in these sectors, where there are enormous employment opportunities and where women’s presence is low.

These opportunities should not be defined by gender, but as the UNESCO report "Cracking the code: girls' education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)" shows, only 35% of students enrolled in STEM-related courses in higher education are women, and only 3% of higher education students study ICT (Information and Communications Technology) courses.

According to the U-Multirank Gender Monitor, the international university ranking organisation funded by the European Commission that analyses more than 1,000 institutions from 80 countries, including Spain, there is a gender imbalance as academic careers advance. By STEM-related subjects in Spain, biology (62%), chemistry (55%) and architecture (50%) are the ones with the highest presence of women in the classroom, while computer engineering (14%), mechanical engineering (17%) and engineering (19%) are the subjects with the fewest women enrolled.

There is also a gender gap in the labour market. According to the report "Women and Innovation 2022", prepared by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation in partnership with the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), in 2020 only 17% of Spanish companies and only one out of three companies in the ICT sector included female employees specialising in advanced technologies.

An established prestigious competition

CaixaBank and Microsoft join forces again for the WONNOW Awards in the hope that they will serve as an incentive and an inspiration for other young women and encourage them to study technical degree courses and become adequately trained to gain access to jobs that are in high demand.

During the awards ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer of CaixaBank highlighted the work and commitment of all the participants and congratulated the winners. Gortázar said that "all the participants and winners are role models to inspire other students to break stereotypes and become interested in science and technology from a young age. It is imperative to promote female talent in all sectors, and especially in these fields where there is a low presence of women and fewer women role models."

In turn, the President of Microsoft in Spain said that "There is a high demand for digital talent in Spain, but 8 out of 10 companies from all sectors have problems in recruiting employees who are trained in technology and with STEM skills to fill their vacancies. All companies are now digital and this digitalisation should not be influenced by gender.  Through the WONNOW Awards with CaixaBank, we want to reward the academic excellence of female university students on STEM courses and encourage others to see them as an extraordinary opportunity. We have to work on training and promoting female technical and digital talent if we want to make our economy grow in a diverse and inclusive way."

Best academic records of STEM university students in Spain

The academic records, personal, educational, professional and social achievements of participants were assessed to choose the winners. The winner of the cash prize was Irene Abril (Madrid), who had the best academic record, and personal, educational, professional and social achievements for this edition, winning 10,000 euros and access to a mentoring programme offered by Microsoft.

The other 10 winning students have access to paid internships to work for six months in the CaixaBank Group and will also benefit from the mentoring programme offered by Microsoft.



About CaixaBank

Diversity, meritocracy, equal opportunities and the recognition of talent are some of the cornerstones of CaixaBank’s corporate culture. Following these values we are committed to becoming an example for our employees, by promoting inclusion and participation and backing projects that promote equality, both within the company and in society as a whole. Currently, at CaixaBank 41.6% of our management positions are held by women and 40% of the board of directors are women, one of the highest percentages in the sector.

CaixaBank has a diversity programme called Wengage, which is an inclusive project developed by people from all spheres of the company based on meritocracy and on the promotion of equal opportunities, and which works to promote and raise the visibility of diversity in all its dimensions: gender, functional, generational, LGBTI, cultural...and includes internal and external actions.

CaixaBank also has an Equality Plan to promote the principles of equal opportunities and diversity in work teams, to foster the presence of women in management positions and support work-life balance actions. This includes, for example, a focus on gender in management development programmes and in selection and training processes, supporting remote work and flexible hours.


About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" @microsoft) drives digital transformation for the era of the intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.