This week, the world will celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on Feb. 11, which aims to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls. As part of this effort, Gender STI has launched its own #WomenInScience campaign. We talked to researchers and experts, both men and women, about why they got involved in science, what they think about current statistics on women researchers and what they think needs to be done to encourage more women and girls to pursue scientific careers.
The lack of gender equality can make science a challenging field for women. To break the barriers in this field, it is important to make women scientist role models more visible for all. Here to tell you more about that is an amazing woman scientist with insatiable curiosity for computer science. Meet Vesna Krnjic, a researcher at the Graz University of Technology.
What is your job position and what science field do you work in? What does your job entail?
I work at the Graz University of Technology as a university assistant in the field of computer science. My job involves research on one hand and teaching on the other.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in science, and specifically in your scientific field?
I've always wanted to know how a computer really works, not just how to use it. I still have this curiosity today, which has always helped me in my scientific career. Computer science is a diverse, fast moving and exciting field, so I can do research in different exciting areas.
According to the United Nations, currently less than 30% of researchers worldwide are women. What do you think about that?
There is still a lot to do. Female role models must become more visible so that young women begin to consider doing something in science.
What would you tell young girls and women who are interested in pursuing a career in science?
You can do anything if you believe in yourself and have confidence in yourself.
If you are curious and your heart beats for science, then a scientific career is just right for you. Don't get discouraged. It pays to work hard for it. Being part of shaping the future is exciting and important, especially for us women.
What message would you send to the public on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science?
Be curious, believe in yourself, try things out, don't be afraid of failure and don't ever let someone tell you that you can't do something.