Tech-savvy women on the rise

The number of female technical students is increasing in Poland… and the number is still growing

According to recent data gathered by the Central Statistical Office in Poland, there is a significant growth in the female learners at Polish universities. Also, the rate of female technical scholars is noticeably increasing, a trend welcomed by GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program. It is no surprise that women awardees outnumbered male peers at the recent award ceremony in Warsaw. These efforts respond to the ever changing labour market expectations.

Girls have dominated the 11th edition of the Program - these are the Polish Scholar Leaders for 2014 (Source: GE)

Girls have dominated the 11th edition of the Program – these are the Polish Scholar Leaders for 2014 (Source: GE)

Impressive 58% equaling 1.6 million students at Polish universities are women, reveals a recent data gathered by the Central Statistical Office in Poland. During the Congress of Women in May, 2014, panelists talked about this percentage and the visible upward trend. Women, the research shows, are also more motivated than men – 64% of Polish students graduating are female.

Another important trend is the success of women in technical fields of studies. As the organizers of the program „Girls as Engineers!” say, since 2007 the number of women at technical universities is constantly rising. Today, 37% of technical universities’ students are female, a 7% increased compared to 2007. There is, however, still only a small number of female professors in technical fields of study. In addition, the number of female doctorate students has grown significantly over the last year – there are now almost 3,000 female doctoral students in Poland, 11% more than one year ago.

The 11th Polish edition of the GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program clearly illustrates women’s growing interest in technical fields of study: 5 out of 8 of the Polish scholars this year are female. They are part of a 32-member group from Central and Eastern Europe who have been granted the opportunity to take part in a unique training program – one that can have a lifelong impact.

On July 2nd, 2014, the GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program award ceremony was held in Warsaw, Poland. Beata Stelmach, GE’s CEO for Poland and the Baltics, presented the 2014 winners with their scholarships. The special guests of the ceremony were Henryka Bochniarz, President of Polish Confederation Lewiatan, and Włodzislaw Duch, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

“Sharing knowledge always leads to innovations. The Scholar-Leaders Program gives you the opportunity to establish new contacts and share knowledge and I am sure you will achieve a lot. There are five women among this year’s scholars, and I am very happy to say this. Recently we can see a growing number of women interested in technical fields of study. I would like to congratulate all the scholars. I wish you to be open-minded when it comes to innovation, cooperation and science. I hope this scholarship will be a beginning in your great careers,” said Włodzislaw Duch. You can find the highlights from the ceremony in Poland on the official website of the Ministry.

As Beata Stelmach wrote in her previous post, Polish students and graduates are well-educated and their knowledge and skills are appreciated by global companies. During the award ceremony, Beata said, “We will constantly support growing talent in Poland because we can see a great potential in young people here. And these young people are the key to the country’s success – the future is in their hands. We just need to give them the impulse and show them the right way.”

From left to right: Agnes Vajda, IIE, Karolina Drobotowicz, and Beata Stelmach, GE. Karolina is studying Control Engineering and Robotics at Gdansk University of Technology (Source: GE)

From left to right: Agnes Vajda, IIE, Karolina Drobotowicz, and Beata Stelmach, GE. Karolina is studying Control Engineering and Robotics at Gdansk University of Technology (Source: GE)

Henryka Bochniarz, President of Polish Confederation Lewiatan – nationwide organization of employers to the state and trade unions – said the GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program was a great initiative from the point of view of the labour market.

“This market is now very dynamic and changes quickly. We no longer live in a world where one person worked in one place until retirement. Now it is important to be flexible and to be able to match the new circumstances. When I hire someone, I usually do not look at the diploma.

“Even the best diploma won’t guarantee a good job. Of course, it can help. But it is important to have passion as well. Education and work are important in our lives, but not crucial. We need to find a balance in our lives. Then we will achieve success and happiness. What I advise to this year’s scholars is for them to look around carefully and use every opportunity that comes their way.
“Only you decide how your life is going to be and this scholarship is a path not only to a future career, but also to a better life,” said Henryka Bochniarz. She also wrote about the Program on her website.

GE for CEE blog congratulates all the winners. We also hope that this scholarship will set you on the path to a better life.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Mateusz Kraiński says:

    Congratulations! Enjoy the seminar and allow it to be a new beginning in Your life

  2. Małgorzata Gałka says:

    Congratulations to all of the Scholar Leaders and good luck.

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