Although, especially among young researchers, the “Gender Gap” in science has narrowed in recent years, men are still more present in international research. As a global scientific enterprise, the combination of various perspectives and experiences is vital for MGI. We would like to shed light on this particular topic and therefore we are asking the women of MGI to share their experiences.
Carmina Villareal Milchorena is Sustainable Development Leader at IMPLAN, our local project partner in Saltillo. She is a member of the local team of the City Lab Saltillo within the Morgenstadt Global Smart Cities Initiative.
MGI: Please describe your function within the MGI project. I am a technical support to the local lead of the City Lab Saltillo. Since I joined in 2020, my main function is coordinate, evaluate and organize the efficient execution of all activities of the project. During the first year of the COVID-19 Pandemic, I contributed to the successful conduction of the remote on-site visit to Saltillo. In 2021, I participated in the publication of the Saltillo City Profile as well as the familiarization of the involved local partners. In 2022, I am part of making the project implementation possible. MGI: What sparked your interest in climate change, sustainability, and scientific research in the first place? Research goes beyond the application of scientific methodology. It is a great tool for the elaboration of public policies and the sustainable development of cities. I consider that the branch of economics that studies sustainable development encompasses the economic, social, climatic and environmental problems that we will face in the coming years. Therefore, projects focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation play a fundamental role in the planning of developing cities. MGI: From your point of view, why do women play a crucial role in sustainable city development and climate change mitigation and adaptation? You are welcome to give examples from the MGI project, your personal or your professional experience in general. Including women as key actors in development processes, consultations, the design and implementation of policies and programs, considering their needs, is essential. Taking into account women’s time in planning processes, urban development and the provision of resources such as water, energy and mobility implies recognizing their access needs and contributions. Women in particular play an important role in the sustainable development of cities, as they are not only more seriously affected by problems related to the supply of these resources, but also have the ideas and leadership capacity to solve them. It is therefore important to recognize that the sustainable development goals must include gender equality and women’s empowerment both as a goal in itself, and as a fundamental part of the other goals.