‘Proud’ female scientists mark International Women’s Day

Female scientists have warned there is still “work to do” to reach equality in the field, as they celebrated their achievements on social media on International Women’s Day.

Many shared images of themselves working in laboratories, while Louisa Brotherson, a 23-year-old PhD student at the University of Liverpool, said she is “proud” to work in a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) subject .

“To me, as an early-career woman of colour in Stem, International Women’s Day is both a celebration of the achievements of women and a reminder of the work we still have to do to reach equality,” Ms Brotherson told the Press Association.

Ms Brotherson is a geoscientist, researching earthquakes using laboratory experiments and computer modelling.

“Too often I’m the only woman, let alone black woman, in the room,” said Ms Brotherson.

“We need to make sure all women and young girls can see the potential in themselves, no matter their background, race, sexuality.

“However, I’m an optimist – I hope that this and every International Women’s Day, women are empowered by each other’s stories and feel determined to achieve real equality.”

Akinnawo Omowumi Olubukola, a PhD candidate in the department of biochemistry at Babcock University in Nigeria, said International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate “the accomplishments of women”.

“It’s a day to reflect on the progress women have made in the world throughout history, honouring the courageous steps women have taken to create positive change in the world and talk about the change that still needs to be made,” said the 30-year-old.

Dr Jackie Kendrick, 32, from the University of Liverpool, said: “I’m appreciative of both the increasing visibility of women in science and the recent improvements towards facilitating a career in academia.”

However, Dr Kendrick added that there is “still a long way to go”.

“Temporary contracts through to a decade or more after PhD completion often limits possibilities for women in academia who are forced to choose between a career or family,” she said.

“It is diversity of experience within the working community that makes a successful and knowledgeable environment, and making accommodations to allow everyone to contribute is something I am passionate about.”

Fellow female scientists shared messages about women working in Stem subjects, with @Lis_Lowe from Newcastle University tweeting it was “a very #InternationalWomensDay in science for us!”

Meanwhile, US scientist @Yafadj, who has a PhD in hydrology from UC Berkeley, tweeted: “I am that woman who loves fashion and makeup, is passionate about #Sciences, sets and achieves goals like men, considers men and women as role models.

“My dress and lipstick don’t mean that I don’t have a brain.”

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