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.
Meet Wolfgang Slany, a professor at the Graz University of Technology and founder of the nonprofit Catrobat, which has developed award-winning and beloved applications such as Pocket Code. Slany is an incredible ally to #WomenInScience.
What is your job position and what science field do you work in? What does your job entail?
I’m a computer science professor at the Graz University of Technology where I focus on research, development and teaching.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in science, and specifically in your scientific field?
I enjoyed science (physics, math, biology) as a nerdy teenager, and then increasingly coding (computer science) in particular, from both a practical as well as, especially, philosophical perspective.
According to the United Nations, currently less than 30% of researchers worldwide are women. What do you think about that?
Improving this situation needs a thousand-faced approach, with lots and lots of smaller and larger steps. It’s getting better, but there’s still so much to do.
What would you tell young girls and women who are interested in pursuing a career in science?
Follow your interest!
What message would you send to the public on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science?
Encourage and support women and girls. They are half of humanity, and as such deserve equal opportunities and chances.