The Gladys Prize is promoted by the PuntuEUS Foundation and the Faculty of Informatics of the UPV/EHU, with the sponsorship of the Body for Equality of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa. The Gladys Award promotes the incorporation of women into the technological field, in order to increase their presence. The awards recognize the fundamental role of women working in the digital environment and, ultimately, encourage participation with equality criteria in the construction of digital society with three main objectives:

  1. Recognize the fundamental role of women in the professional, business and academic world in the digital environment.
  2. Reward the trajectory developed by women and promoting the projection of female referents.
  3. Offer references to girls and adolescents who doubt whether or not to direct their professional future to the STEAM disciplines.
  Why the Gladys Award?

The Faculty of Informatics of the University of the Basque Country has long been concerned about the small number of women who are enrolling to study computer science. It is not an exclusive phenomenon of the Computer Science Faculty of San Sebastian, but rather a global one, and it is more, not only of a phenomenon that is provoking computer learning, but of scientific-technical teachings, that is, of projects like Kaixomundua.eus promoted by the PuntuEUS Foundation, for example, in the STEAM area and in vocations in general. Therefore, they have decided to join efforts to create the Gladys award with the collaboration of the Equality Body of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa.

If we look at the numbers corresponding to the Faculty of Computer Science of Donostia, it is evident that women do not have much interest in pursuing university studies in computing. The following table shows the number of new students who have attended the Faculty in recent years, the total number of students enrolled in the first line (Total) and the number of women in the second line (Women). The percentage of women per course is very low (% Women).

Despite the low data, there have been female computer scientists since the beginning of computer history and, furthermore, far from the stereotypes of computer scientists that have spread for years. One of them is Gladys del Estal.

Gladys del Estal studied in the 3rd promotion of the Faculty of Computer Science and finished her studies in 1978. She was also an environmentalist and activist against nuclear energy, and worked as a volunteer to end illiteracy, giving free adult classes. In 1979 she was killed by police in Tudela during her participation in a Festival for the Environment. At that time, she was working on the programming of one of the first computers installed in Gipuzkoa.

In 2019, 40 years after her death, the Faculty of Informatics unanimously agreed to name the Boardroom after her.

  What is the award and what to do to be a candidate

The award will consist of a recognition and a prize of 3,000 euros. One of the objectives of the award is the creation of references to promote STEAM vocations, for which a video will be made with the trajectory of the winner so that it is visible on the web. In addition, she will have the opportunity to give a motivational talk to the students of the kaixomundua.eus project, which promotes STEAM vocations.

To participate, the candidate must fill the form on the website www.gladyssaria.eus. A third party (company or entity) may also designate the candidate. In both cases, an explanatory CV must be sent and if there is a reference document. Women from any area of the digital environment may participate with a maximum age of 40 years in 2021.

Press conference held on April 19 at the headquarters of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa. From left to right, Leire Palacios (project responsible of the PuntuEUS Foundation), Miren Elgarresta (foral director of Equality of the DFG) and Itziar Irigoien (professor of the UPV/EHU and doctor in Informatics).