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Women in Science Day

February 11th is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This day was declared by the UN in 2015 in order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality. 

Celebrating the 2024 International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we recognize women's important roles and achievements in science. This day underscores the need for gender equality in science and the ongoing efforts to achieve it. On this occasion, we have interviewed young Biozentrum researchers, two female and two male scientists, sharing insights into their perspectives and highlighting the day's importance for promoting diversity and gender parity in science.


Daria Smolyarova, PhD student, group Prof. Knut Drescher


What does being a woman in science mean to you?
Being a woman in science means a lot to me, I cannot imagine that it was nearly impossible to do science as a woman before. But at the same time, I hope that soon it will not matter if you are a man or a woman in science. You are a person in science, a scientist, and this should be enough.

How important is gender equality in science for you and how can we achieve it?
Gender equality is very important because it increases the diversity and in diverse environment it's easier to work, it's easier to create new ideas and gender equality is one of the parameters of increasing this diversity.

And how can we achieve gender parity?
It’s a very good question. I think nowadays we need to promote and to make science more accessible for girls. And, we really need positive representation that women can become PIs. Unfortunately, we are lacking it.

Ahmed Mahmoud, PhD student, group Prof. Rod Lim


How important is gender equality in science for you?
Gender equality is really important for me. The majority of my teachers, supervisors and role models are female. And imagine, a few decades ago without gender equality this would never have happened.

Who are your female role models in science?
When I was young, I used to go a lot to the Library of Alexandria and, Hypatia of Alexandria, a famous female and brilliant mathematician, astronomer and philosopher in the history of Egypt, was really my role model. She was contributing to politics and had a huge influence in the academic field, particularly in mathematics. So actually, she inspired me a lot when I was young.

Why is the Women in Science Day necessary from your point of view?
Women face a lot of problems and, in my opinion, it is important to dedicate one day to talk about these problems. This way, we can strengthen and amplify our message and also make our female colleagues not feel alone facing the toxic masculinity and sexism in our community because we have to admit that these issues exist.



Hugo Gillet, Master student, group Prof. Anissa Kempf


Why is gender equality in science important to you?
Gender equality in science is fundamental because we can only do great science with equality in opportunities and access to resources regardless of gender.

Do you have female role models?
The women who inspired my scientific career would be first Marie Curie. She showed that despite being a woman and an immigrant in France about 100 years ago, it is possible to revolutionize science and win two Nobel Prizes just by excellence. And secondly, my PI for her great leadership and dedication to work.

Cindy Reinger, PhD student, group Prof. Markus Affolter


Do you think it’s important to celebrate the Women in Science Day? And what steps can we take to achieve gender parity in science?
Celebrating this day is important because it recognizes all the success of women in science and also to promote the results of female scientists. In order to achieve gender equality, we need systemic changes and also challenge stereotypes. 

What does being a woman in science mean to you?
As a female scientist, I can achieve changes in the scientific community. My female role model is my second supervisor Prof. Irene Miguel-Aliaga working at the Imperial College London and the Frances Crick Institute. She manages to balance career and family life very well.