Our commitment to SDG 4: Quality education
Since 2000, enormous progress has been made in terms of worldwide access to basic education. The number of children not attending school has been halved and many more people can read and write. However, more than 57 million children still do not attend primary school1. Sustainable Development Goal 4 Quality education is part of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations and is committed to this: everyone, everywhere in the world, should have access to quality education. Janssen is also committed to contribute to this objective with the WiSTEM2D project.
SDG 4 - Quality Education - is committed to equal access to quality education and the promotion of lifelong learning for all. Quality education is very important to Janssen as well. Community Impact Lead Peggy van Casteren explains the need for it: "Education is about lifelong learning, staying curious, keeping your brain healthy, and the future. Education is important, regardless of age." Peggy continues: "Education also plays an important role in the context of health. That is why we contribute to this.”
“Education is about lifelong learning, staying curious, keeping your brain healthy, and the future. Education is important, regardless of age”.
"In particular, science subjects - so-called STEM (the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects - can help to find solutions that contribute to the 17 SDGs," says Peggy. Although there are more and more initiatives to promote science, Peggy says there is an even greater need in Belgium for the link between STEM at school and the real business world: "We need to show children which studies can lead to which jobs. Role models from companies are in the best position to explain how they use science in their daily work to make a difference. This way, students see that STEM is more than coding or making a robot. Instead, it's about solving health or climate problems. In the Netherlands, this connection between education and business is much better made."
To make the link between education and business, the WiSTEM2D project has been established. WiSTEM2D stands for women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, manufacturing, and design. “With the WiSTEM2D project, we want to inspire young girls between 10 and 14 to choose a scientific discipline. We focus on girls, but obviously do not exclude the boys. In our sector, we still notice a lack of women with a scientific background. However, we see that boys and girls think in different ways and solve problems in different ways.”
For the WiSTEM2D project, Janssen is working together with 18 other partners. These are companies (such as BASF, AtlasCopco, Galapagos), the public authorities, universities, NGOs, and the media. Each consortium partner contributes to the WiSTEM2D project in its own way. "We are going to invite especially young people to our Campus to offer them an ‘experience tour’ explains Peggy," and in addition we are going to send our employees to the classes as role models and speakers." An important milestone in the project is the launch of the ‘Das Geniaal’ (That’s Genius) website, which will connect the entire WiSTEM2D ecosystem.
"COVID-19 has made all of us more aware of the challenges once again, but more importantly of the significance of science in working towards solutions to those challenges," concludes Peggy.
Other sustainability initiatives
The WiSTEM2D project is just one example of Janssen's sustainability initiatives. Do you want to know how we are committed to the other Sustainable Development Goals? Find out more here!
EM-51869 - 21-jan-2021