Dr. Kristine Salma shares her experience as a woman in science and calls for breaking gender stereotypes

Dr. Kristine Salma was awarded a L'Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Fellowship in Latvia for her analysis of biomaterials used for bone implant applications. In this editorial, she presents her career as a woman in science and calls for breaking gender stereotypes!

My background is in chemical engineering and materials science. For the past ten years, I have been working as a leading researcher at the Riga Technical University. The subject of my research is related with the development and the investigation of biomaterials for potential bone implants applications. 

Surely, my job strongly impacts my every-day life and my family life as well. You have to be very mobile and flexible. I never feel the daily routine in my job! I spend a lot of my time to travel, to participate in different scientific events and to write scientific publications. Sometimes I think that my job is my life! Science is amazing and absorbing! However my job without my family, my children would be nothing. My husband has always done everything possible to support my career. I didn’t work in a male-dominated environment before. My mentor and scientific supervisor was a woman. She inspired me to be strong and determined independently of my gender. I feel that many women do not want to be at top level position. They simply want to do their job very well. I think it is a privilege to be a woman!

In my opinion, the six points of the Manifesto, launched by the L'Oréal Foundation and the UNESCO, are accurately encouraging girls and women to pursue a scientific carrier, without neither borders nor prejudices. In Latvia, the most relevant points of the Manifesto could be the “prioritization of women's access to leading positions in the sciences” and the “promotion of mentoring and networking for young scientists”.

Believe in yourself! You are the best!

For Women in Science

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