On Wednesday, February 20, the association Elles Bougent organized the Innovatech Challenge 2019. For more than 10 years, Elles bougent has been helping middle and high school girls on Reunion Island discover the exciting careers of women engineers and technicians. All industrial or technological sectors lacking female talent are concerned. These include automotive, aerospace, energy, rail, maritime, digital and construction.
Create enthusiasm among young girls for so-called “male” professions
From 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Cité des Métiers in Saint Pierre hosted the 2019 Innovatech Challenge. The objective of this event was to create a special relationship between the girls and the Elles bougent sponsors. Their mission is to encourage female students to enter these sectors where female talent is under-represented. The theme of the day was “The Sustainable City”.
High school girls, students and sponsors gathered for the 2019 Innovatech Challenge
The association Elles bougent, sponsored by 5 ministries, brings together 20 regional delegations, 130 corporate and higher education partners, a club of high schools and 3,500 female sponsors. At the 2019 Innovatech Challenge, the teams consisted of:
- students from 6 schools on the island,
- female sponsors who are engineers and senior technicians,
- students in technical and scientific fields
The participants presented their final pitch to a panel of technology and education experts.
The objectives of the Innovatech national challenge
This day rich in exchanges had three main objectives. These are:
- Encourage high school girls to dare to enter scientific and technical fields by meeting and exchanging with women engineers and students in the industry.
- Highlighting teamwork, creativity and innovation and how everyone can contribute to imagining the technologies of tomorrow.
- Initiate start-up creation processes for the best nuggets.
Moreover, the chosen theme, The Sustainable City, presents a challenge for the future: how to develop cities that are more economical with their resources?
Various professional backgrounds and schools combined
The participants of this second edition of the Challenge in Reunion Island, divided into 6 teams, worked on the subject. Each team was composed of 2 high school girls, 2 students and 2 professionals. The girls are from the Paul Moreau high school in Bras Panon, Jean Hinglo in Le Port, Sarda Garriga in St André, Lislet Geoffroy in St Denis, Amiral Bouvet in St Benoît, Pierre Lagourgue in Le Tampon. The female students are in preparatory classes at Lislet Geoffroy and Amiral Bouvet, at the EPITECH school of computer science and at the IUT of St Pierre. As for the sponsors, they come from a variety of backgrounds: Orange engineers, entrepreneurs, university professors, etc.
The members of the jury who evaluated the projects are from the following structures: – CBO Territoria – La Technopole – Académie de La Réunion – Elles bougent association.
The Elles bougent delegation in Réunion
Many young girls in Reunion are still hesitant to enter technical and scientific fields. However, they manage to complete their school career with flying colours up to the final year of secondary school. To turn things around,Elles Bougent is doing everything it can to give visibility to women in these sectors. Created in 2017, this delegation’s mission is to “fight against the lack of knowledge and stereotypes associated with industry and technology, inform about the engineering and technical professions to help guide young girls and encourage vocations in them!”