NEWS - 2021/11/22

Closing the Gender Gap in Urban Mobility – WUM Annual Summit 2021

On 19 November, CARNET and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC) hosted the WUM Annual Summit, marking the end of the first year of this project. The UPC North Campus served as the venue for this event, which brought together the women’s network formed in 2021 as well as other key stakeholders such as women’s organizations.

The event, moderated by Dr. Laia Pagès, Executive and Scientific Manager at CARNET, began with a brief overview of WUM’s first year, presented by Dr. Margarita Martínez from the UPC, who went over the most noteworthy outputs, experiences, and lessons learned. WUM’s first year’s results have been satisfactory for the members of the consortium, as it gathered the expected attention and brought together a community of people who want to work towards equality in the sector.

Following that, Maria Tsavachidis, CEO at EIT Urban Mobility, highlighted her expertise, knowledge, lessons gained, and difficulties from her unique perspective, as urban mobility is traditionally a male-dominated field. These emotional and inspiring words were followed by interventions from six women’s organizations: La Mirada (Barcelona Metropolitan Area), Women in Motion,, IT Girls, Movmi (Canada), and Dones Politècniques, all of which focus on bringing visibility and supporting the role of women in the field of urban mobility.

In addition to these words, the Annual Summit wanted to go even further, and, through an innovative workshop carried out by Col·lectiu Punt 6, attendees were able to gain awareness of the critical current situation of women’s daily mobility patterns, since cities have not been developed considering that women have different mobility needs, and that, despite recent progress, the gender gap in this field, as in others, remains. To round up the evening, the guests took a pleasant walk around the streets of Barcelona, where they interacted, strengthened bonds, and were able to discuss the situation on a more informal level.

For WUM partners, the annual forum was more than just an event; it was a crucial day since revisiting the project and presenting the year’s results was satisfying and useful to discuss the lessons learned. Likewise, it was an occasion to present WUM to individuals who were unfamiliar with it and to publish the project perspective for 2022, as this project, co-funded by EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, is expected to continue further developing a community of women in the field and closing the existing gender gap.