United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science
11th February is the United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
According to the UN “International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity.”
This day is planned to recognize the contributions made by women and girls to advancing understanding in science and technology, with a particular theme for 2021 of Women Scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19.
A UNESCO Zoom Webinar will be held on 11th with speakers and a panel discussion. This will both showcase some of the work led by women in the fight against COVID-19, and highlight the often negative impact of COVID-19 on woman scientists and the related contribution to the widening of the gender gap in science.
Registration and programme details can be found here>>
The Faculty of Engineering and Informatics at the University of Bradford, in partnership with the University Gender Staff Forum, is marking the day by highlighting the stories of some of our students and staff, asking them why they chose to pursue scientific study and what they hope for the future of women and girls in science.
We support equal access to scientific careers for women, noting that gender equality in science is important for the empowerment of women and also vital for humanity – we cannot achieve our potential if we allow barriers for half of the world’s population to be in place. We need to utilise the skills, experience, and diverse input of all scientists if we are to benefit fully. More support is needed for women working in science, and more encouragement for girls to consider studying STEM. Sharing our stories can help girls to understand why it is important, how they can personally benefit by studying STEM subjects and how their involvement can provide positive outcomes for others across the world.
"Gender equality in science is important for the empowerment of women and also vital for humanity – we cannot achieve our potential if we allow barriers for half of the world’s population to be in place."
- Dr Elaine Brown, Reader in Mechanical & Process Engineering
"STEM is about the promise of innovation, collaboration, problem solving and social responsibility. Women of all backgrounds are delivering on this promise every single day. So if you ever wonder if STEM is really for you, it most definitely is."
- Dr Mai Elshehaly, Lecturer in Computer Science
"If you have an interest in a science and you are good at it – pursue it and believe in it. Develop it into a passion and find out how others are pursuing the passion; be determined; own it; empower yourself and celebrate your talent. You can go all the way!!!"
- Dr Kulvinder Panesar, Lecturer in Applied Artificial Intelligence
"I think it's important for a diverse range of people to contribute to science and engineering so that the outcomes cater for the needs of everyone in society (otherwise we will end up in a terrible situation where car seat belts are optimised to suit the male physique and most people only recognise the typical ‘male’ symptoms for having a heart attack)."
- Dr Therese Sheehan, Lecturer in Structural Engineering
"There are many opportunities to do exciting, meaningful research in Science and all the Engineering fields. If you like problem solving and enjoy building creative solutions, then a STEM career is the right thing for you! Don't let stereotypes stop you pursuing a certain degree; we can change them only if we bring more diversity to our teams!"
- Dr Raluca Lefticaru, Lecturer in Computer Science
"Why let boys have all the fun? Girls need to be involved in the action and build the future too."
- Joanna Wood, Lead Engineering Technician
“Girls can be engineers, girls can be scientists, girls can be anything they like, so long as they study hard and have the interest for it.”
- Dr Bana Shriky, Postdoctoral Research Assistant
"I think there is still a sense that certain occupations and degrees are mainly for men but that is changing. I would encourage any woman to believe in themselves. The potential career opportunities are vast, with so many areas to gain employment and make a difference to society."
- Elzarie Le Roux, UG Student, Clinical Technology
"I was always a curious (not to say nosy) child and to use my curiosity for the greater good engineering, especial biomedical-engineering, was the answer. I was meant to do banking and it wasn’t easy to break it to my parents that I want to do engineering, especially that in Romania at that time this was a job for men, as my dad stressed. But I took the risk and proved that on that pathway I found a lot of satisfaction and happiness."
- Dr Cristina Tuinea-Bobe, RKT Business Development Manager