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International Day Of Women & Girls In Science

International Day Of Women & Girls In Science

10th February 2021
By: Olivia - F&F

Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science! This day recognises the critical role that women and girls play in science and technology, and aims to promote full and equal access to participation in science for women and girls. 

The 2021 International Day of Women & Girls in Science will celebrate “Women Scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19” and will gather together experts working in fields related to the pandemic from different parts of the world. 

In this blog, we’ll take a look at the global significance of the day and talk about some amazing #WomenInScience — including some of our very own team members here at Flora & Fauna!

What is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science?

On 22 December 2015, UNESCO and UN-Women established an annual International Day (Feb 11th) to recognise the critical role that women and girls play in science and technology. 

Tackling some the greatest challenges of our time requires the mobilisation of all the skills, talents and knowledge that humanity has to offer. The lived experience, unique voices and active participation of women and girls are integral to the successful implementation of the 2050 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. 

This is because women are disproportionately impacted in every area of society — from health to the economy, security to social protection — simply by virtue of their sex. One of the key targets for Goal 5 is to Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life (Goal 5.5). This goal extends to the fields of science and technology, which are traditionally male-dominated industries. 

Did you know that less than 30 per cent of the world’s scientific researchers are women? Studies have also revealed that women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are generally paid less than their male counterparts, and do not progress as far as men in their careers.

The world needs science, and science needs women and girls.

This means creating more pathways and incentives for women to work in these fields, and dismantling the typical setbacks, discrimination and stigma surrounding women in science. Diversity in research helps to expand the pool of talented researchers — bringing in fresh perspectives, talent, creativity — and a little bit of girl power. 

This year, the 6th International Day of Women and Girls in Science Assembly will be held at the United Nations Headquarters, virtually. For more information, visit womeninscienceday.org.

 

Amazing Women in Science Throughout History

Some of the greatest scientific discoveries ever made were led by women. Let’s take a look at a few of these STEM superstars!

Marie Curie - Physicist and Chemist

Achievements: Discovering radioactivity and inventing a mobile X-ray unit that was employed during World War I. In 1903, Marie Curie became the first woman ever to win a Nobel Prize. Then, after her first win in physics, she later earned a second Nobel Prize in chemistry — making her the first person to have been awarded twice!

Katherine Johnson - MathematicianKatherine Johnson - Mathematician

Katherine Johnson - Mathematician

Achievements: Katherine Johnson was an African American NASA mathematician who helped send the first Americans into space and the first astronauts into space. Her calculations of orbital mechanics were critical to the success of the whole mission. She’s also the main subject of the famous biographical drama, Hidden Figures

Jane Goodall - Primatologist & AnthropologistJane Goodall - Primatologist & Anthropologist

Jane Goodall - Primatologist & Anthropologist

Achievements: You’ve probably heard of Jane Goodall and her amazing with chimpanzees. Aside from being a prominent animal activist, Goodall made some extraordinary discoveries about chimpanzee behaviour – she discovered that chimpanzees make tools, eat and hunt for meat, and have similar social behaviour to humans.

 

Rosalind Franklin - Biophysicist Rosalind Franklin - Biophysicist 

Rosalind Franklin - Biophysicist 

Achievements: Rosalind Franklin was a British biophysicist who contributed to the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA, as well her outstanding work understanding X-rays and molecular structure.

Nina Tandon - Biomedical EngineerNina Tandon - Biomedical Engineer

Nina Tandon - Biomedical Engineer

Achievements: Nina Tandon is a biomedical engineer who is currently changing the world of cell science! She is the founder and CEO of EpiBone, a company that grows bones for skeletal reconstruction — it allows practitioners to repair bone defects in people by using the patient’s stem cells to grow new and healthy bones in a lab environment. 

Women in STEM: Flora & Fauna!

We have a few wonderful ladies involved in STEM here at F&F. Our very own Ash is studying Food Science, which we think is really neat! Our founder and CEO, Julie, is an engineer by trade, and of course an expert in e-commerce and sustainable retail. She completed a Master of Engineering at Cambridge University. Pretty impressive, right?

On the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, let's celebrate women and girls who are leading the way in STEM and breaking through generations of gender-based discrimination. We can all play a part to create new pathways for future generations of female scientists, and remove all the barriers that hold them back. 

Make sure you join in the conversation on social media using #WomenInScience! Perhaps you could post a photo of a female scientist who inspires you, or maybe encourage a friend or colleague who’s breaking into the world of STEM. 

For the little ones, we recommend the adorable Women in Science: Little People, Big Dreams box set.

Teach your daughter, granddaughter or niece about the phenomenal lives of three women in science: Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart and Ada Lovelace!

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