On the International Day for Girls and Women in Science, we wish girls around the globe an opportunity in the world of science, which seems like only a dream for many of them even today.

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres sent a message to girls: “On this International Day, I urge a commitment to end bias, greater investments in science, technology, engineering and math education for all women and girls as well as opportunities for their careers and longer-term professional advancement, so that all can benefit from their ground-breaking future contributions.”

In the UN’s development goals that speak about gender equality, opportunity for girls and women in science too plays an important part to reach the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

According to a study conducted in 14 countries, the probability for female students graduating with a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and Doctor’s degree in science-related field are 18%, 8% and 2% respectively, while the percentages of male students are 37%, 18% and 6%

February 11 was marked by the United Nations to be the day where girls around the world are educated to realise that their dreams can turn into reality.

Vinita Madill, a Space Operations Engineer working at the European Space Agency, very rightly tells us, “Positive female role models are essential to provide women with examples to look up to when they’re making the most critical decisions in their education or career.”

Vinita Marwaha Mardill
At work.
PC: Vinita Marwaha Madill

Vinita, also the founder of Rocket-Women.com, interviews women around the world in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths), especially in space, starting a conversation on her website inspiring and encouraging girls to be a part of STEM.

Just recently in the US, a young graduate, Tiera Guinn, made headlines about her working for NASA at just the age of 22. A Rocket Structural Design and Analysis Engineer, Guinn is a student of MIT and had shown a keen interest in science at a very young age. Guinn’s mother encouraged this passion early on, so she could make the right academic choices for herself.

Another recent example of women in science comes from the Indian origin Dr Shawna Pandya. This Canada-based neurosurgeon will be the third Indian origin woman to fly to space — Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams being the first two ones. Pandya had been shortlisted from a list of 3,200 people when she topped the Citizen Science Astronaut program. In 2018, she is scheduled to fly with eight other astronauts in space missions.

Shawna Pandya, the 3rd Indian-origin woman to fly to space, has roots in Mumbai
Shawna Pandya, the 3rd Indian-origin woman to fly to space, has roots in Mumbai (Pic Credit: Livehindustan.com)

These women are the new faces of gender equality in the field of Science. Some inspired by Sally Ride, some by Roberta Bondar, Kalpana Chawla, this new drive to be a part of STEM is what is inspiring today. These women are turning into role models for the next generation to conquer even more in the coming years. Because of course, the fight for equality is not won at the drop of a hat.

Wishing all the ladies around the globe a successful International Day for Women and Girls in Science!

Feature Image Courtesy: TopRankers