Women in science around the world – Part 2/3

DiscovHER continues sharing the views of women in science, by featuring the second part of a series of interviews conducted with 15 women scientists from around the world. This week, it’s the turn for scientists from France, Lebanon, Mexico, the US and Vietnam to tell us all about their perceptions, inspirations, and experiences!

Attracting more girls into science, a French scientist’s perspective

Young girls would benefit from knowing more about scientific jobs, by learning why they are exciting, rewarding and useful. Also, it is still necessary to teach them that men and women are equally capable of pursuing a career in science. If they like playing, asking questions, travelling, meeting people, and being independent, they should think about doing a career in science!

France: Dr Aurore Avarguès-Weber, Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre de Recherche sur la Cognition Animale, CNRS, Université Toulouse 3

The quest for success of a woman scientist in the Middle East

As a young girl coming from a conservative family in the Middle East, one of the main challenges that I faced were the cultural restrictions to travel and live abroad on my own, in order to pursue postgraduate studies. Later on, after being married, my husband and I studied together in Germany where I received my doctoral degree, which was the enabler to pursue an academic career back in Lebanon.

Lebanon: Dr Sanaa Sharafeddine, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Mathematics, Lebanese American University (LAU), Beirut

A researcher’s challenges in a developing country

A big challenge for me is being compelled to publish my research’s results in a second language, english, since this is a condition for success. Also, a lot of time has to be invested in searching for funds for one’s research, which is a lot harder in a developing country.

Mexico: Dr Matilde Jimenez Coello, Lecturer & Researcher, Center of Regional Investigations Dr. Hideyo Noguchi, of Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán

Women in science are essential!

Science benefits tremendously from a broad range of perspectives. With more diverse opinions come more opportunities for creative, innovative thinking. For this reason, women in science are absolutely essential. Scientific careers are very demanding – for women and men. To keep women in the game, we need women and men in leadership roles to enact policies that encourage and support women as they progress in their scientific careers.

USA: Dr Mary Caswell Stoddard, Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Managing time and fighting prejudice

The biggest challenge for women pursuing a career in science is time, since besides being scientists, we are also mothers and wives in our own families!

Also, women scientists sometimes meet some barriers during their careers because of gender stereotypes. Some men still think that women lack the skills to be a scientist, and cannot do anything except for cooking, cleaning, and raising babies. Needless to say, women’s success in science is the best answer to change these erroneous attitudes!

Vietnam: Dr Phuong Ha-Lien Tran, Lecturer, Biomedical Engineering Department, Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City

All these scientists are 2015 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Rising Talents.

For Women in Science

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