International Day of Women & Girls in Science- Let’s celebrate!

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Did you know that gender equality and access to science are both recognized as human rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Despite this important acknowledgement, the United Nations has found that women are systematically underrepresented in the scientific, technological and innovation sectors. To harness the full potential of scientific research and progress we need to close the existing gender gap and empower all members of society to ask questions, identify problems and create innovative solutions.

We firmly believe that equal access to and participation in science, technology and innovation for women and girls of all ages is imperative for creating a sustainable and inclusive future. Let’s have a look at the reasons why this day is particularly important for us!

Interesting facts about women in science from the UN:

  • UNESCO revealed in 2019 that fewer than 30% of scientific researchers worldwide were women.
  • Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology, Medicine and Economics have been awarded to women only 25 times between 1901 and 2020.
  • According to the UN Women, only 26% of AI and data professionals globally are women. Despite progress in ensuring opportunities for women in STEM fields, women continue to be systematically underrepresented as leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

    Data4Food2030 stands for equal participation of all genders in science, technology and innovation. We are extremely proud and honoured to have many distinguished women participating in our project, and, therefore, we would like to celebrate this day by introducing these outstanding scientists!

Dolores Ordoñez
Director at AnySolution

“We are facing new challenges related to digitalisation and the power of data is becoming stronger every day. Combining a legal and technical background, and with a curiosity to keep constantly learning, working in the different innovative projects offers the possibility to contribute to the new data economy to face local and global challenges”.

Isabelle Piot-Lepetit
Research director in Economics and Management, Sustainability and digitalization at INRAE
“The best thing about being a scientist is when the dots are connected and the idea becomes clear, relevant and achievable. It is a great time which makes you forget everything that has come along the way. The feeling of having contributed to a better world where I am and with what I do is what motivates me everyday.”

Gohar Isakhanyan
Senior researcher at Wageningen University and Research
“Girls seem to lack self-confidence due to expectations the parents and society hold for them (e.g., be a good wife, be a super mom), leading them to lose motivation in pursuing scientific careers, especially in engineering and maths-related areas. Wake up girls, forget the stereotypes, show your true capacities, your knowledge, use your skills and be confident!. Science needs your bright minds.”

Angelika Mantur-Vierendeel
Business Development Manager & Research Dietitian, EuroFIR AISBL
“Empowering individuals to make informed food choices and lead healthier lives is not just a job, it’s a passion. By becoming a dietitian or food data scientist, you can make a positive impact in the world one bite at a time.”

Hana Mušinović
Food and Nutrition Researcher
“Either as a scientist striving for discovery, or an applied scientist striving for life improvements, scientific professions are often challenging but can be very rewarding. Personally, after molecular biology and nutritional genomics, I steered towards scientific cooperation and big international and interdisciplinary projects as I enjoy collaborating with people from diverse backgrounds and creating innovative solutions together. Career paths are not always clear and sometimes it feels you’ve reached the dead end but important is to be adaptable and open to new opportunities. Positive mindset can take you to surprising places.”

Eva Maes
Researcher on the Data economy in the Agrifood Technology Unit of ILVO
“It is important that children and young people have plenty of examples of women working in all kinds of sectors. Of course, they can later become researchers, pursue careers around technology and digitalisation, or start working in the agri-food sector if they want.”

Ella Deroo
Technical project manager in the Agrofood Technology Unit of ILVO
“Diversity and inclusion are important because they provide different viewpoints to tackle present issues in the agrifood sector. It is inspiring working at ILVO amongst a lot of women with different backgrounds.”

Viivi Lähteenoja
Senior data strategist at 1001 Lakes
“There are as many ways to be(come) a woman in science as there are women. My way was via classics and moral philosophy, which I carry with me in my work every day.”

Martina Šestak

Researcher and teaching assistant at the University of Maribor

“By being a woman in science, you get to spend your days discussing and developing solutions to modern-day problems and be a part of a greater story, and that is what makes every day interesting and fun. If you have a mind full of ideas and you’re eager to put them into practice, become a scientist and make this happen!”

Sandra Šūmane
Sociologist, senior researcher at Baltic Studies Centre

“Working as a scientist is satisfying my curiosity to understand the world in which we are living and how to make it more sustainable”

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