Alliance Women in Science: Then and Now

Today we celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, an opportunity to inspire and promote full and equal inclusion of women and girls in the field.

Did you know that currently less than 30% of scientific researchers are women?

Despite growing numbers, women worldwide continue to face obstacles in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). According to data from the United Nations, enrollment of female students in higher education remains low:

  • 8% in engineering, manufacturing, and construction.
  • 5% in natural sciences, mathematics, and statistics.
  • 3% in information and communications technology (ICT).

We know that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are enormous challenges. Still, they will contribute decisively to progress for all the Goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

To accomplish this task and break the gap that has persisted for years worldwide requires profound changes. That is why today we have joined this celebration, inviting Alliance women researchers to tell their stories. Stories of brilliant women being brilliant. Stories of girls’ dreams and how they became who they are today.

We know that girls need female role models that show they can be anything they want to be.

Meet the Alliance’s women scientists!

When I was younger, I wanted to improve public health by becoming a doctor.

I grew up to become an agricultural economist enthusiastic about healthy eating!

Through my career, I am able to talk to people about healthy diets and work around interventions that make healthy and nutritious foods more accessible and affordable, especially to the vulnerable poor, children, and women.

When I was younger, I never wanted to grow up, like Peter Pan.

I did eventually grow up… to become a Nutritional Scientist working for healthier diets and sustainable food systems.

My work enables me to collect stories about food and diets worldwide, and work with farmers and communities to enrich their daily diets.

Growing up, my dream was to become a Mathematician.

Now I am a Social Scientist leading our Climate Action team.

Through my work, I help improve the livelihoods of farmers impacted by climate change. I urge women interested in science: don’t let anyone stand in the way of your dreams or make you feel that you are not capable. You have the power to become whatever you want.

When I was younger, I thought I would keep people informed as a news anchor.

Now I am a research and development project coordinator for agriculture, food security, and climate change adaptation.

I work to give a meaningful user experience to stakeholders that will help the next- and end-users make use of the climate information and agro-advisories in their planning and decision-making.

When I was younger, I wanted to become an environmental “Indiana Jane”.

With hard work and persistence, I became an Environmental Scientist.

By conducting research in areas such as the Amazon forest, I help bring to light the many benefits of working in synergy with nature.

I have always been fascinated by the intersection of nature, science, and economics.

At the Alliance, I’ve deepened my knowledge on agrobiodiversity and worked on a broad spectrum of issues touching development, genetics, and law.

I’m glad to contribute to such complex and interconnected areas for a more inclusive and sustainable future!

 When I was younger, I wanted to ride around the world on my scooter.

Now I travel the world as an Agricultural Economist! My work assesses how food system technologies and innovations impact the livelihoods of women, men, and youth.

I’m proud to have maintained a high level of professional work while simultaneously raising my children.

As a child, I dreamt of an adventurous life.

I grew up to become a Genetic Resources Scientist.

My career enables me to travel the world to collect crop germplasm.

I contribute to safeguarding one of humanity’s precious assets: the diversity of bananas.

When I was younger, I aspired to be a scientist. I always joined my mother on her farm.

I am now fully committed to scientific work, researching bananas in intensification systems.

I would encourage all women interested in science to never give up on their goals. Women are as strong and capable as men.

When I was younger, I thought I would become a primary school teacher.

Now I help my community as an Agri-climatology researcher.

My work helps vulnerable farming communities mitigate risks from climate change, and promotes the inclusion of both men and women in farming decision-making.

As a child, I hoped to be an astronaut…

Today I am a Researcher working with satellite imagery and automated techniques.

My work monitors deforestation and land cover change to identify environmental impacts and better inform decision-makers.

As a girl, I wanted to be a farmer.

I grew up to become a rural sociologist, working closely with agricultural scientists and farmers.

My work puts useful information into the hands of small farmers, especially many women farmers, so they can benefit from science as well.

Growing up, I wanted to become a marine biologist.

I did become a scientist, but now I research bananas and their close relative, enset!

My career enables me to contribute to better food security while meeting interesting, diverse people around the world!

Test your knowledge about Women in Science with a short quiz!