February 11, 2022 marks the 7th International Day of Women and GIrls in Science. In celebration, we talked to some of our brilliant researchers who continuously serve and drive science forwards.

For the women of FARI, giving women and girls equal opportunities to pursue and thrive in STEM will make better science, fairer innovative solutions, and thus a more progressive society.

Here are some of the thoughts of our #womeninscience on why we need more women and girls in science:

“Science makes a difference. For patients, for the planet, for progress. And for a serious study of what ‘makes’ progress (for who, depending on what). To make a difference we need to hear different voices, because that will result in better science, less tunnel vision and it will force researchers to listen and learn. More women and girls in science is crucial, fair and key to a society that shows equal respect and concern for each of us. And finally, diversity is not just about women and girls.”

– Mireille Hildebrandt (VUB-LSTS)

“More representation by girls and women in sciences means that experiences and perspectives long ignored or made invisible would now be included. This makes science more inclusive and will lead to new insights and innovative solutions for all.”

– Cora van Leeuwen (VUB-SMIT)

“Science is all about sharing knowledge and ideas, and the more diverse they are, the more progress we reach. The underrepresentation of women in science (and in society) for many centuries substantially limited the scientific horizons. I put it straightforward: the more women in science we have, the more and fairer discoveries our society receives.”

-Anastasiya Kiseleva (VUB-LSTS)

“There is no need for more women for a specific reason if we believe in gender equality. There are as many qualified women as men. So, in reality, there is a need only for equal opportunities.”

– Miriam Doh (ULB-IRIDIA)

“Looking at a problem from different angles leads to a better solution. That’s why diversity in science is so very important”

– Lesley De Cruz (VUB-ETRO)

“Let me inverse the question: in my university, women are only 23.8 % of the academic body at the Faculty of Science. How can you justify this exclusion? “

– Nina Hetmanska (ULB- Perelman Centre)

“For me the puzzle is more why are there not more women in science already. What sort of barriers do women still encounter on their journey towards science and how can we do something against those. For me, the objective is: any women who wants to be in science, should be able to.”

– Laura Drechsler (VUB-LSTS)

We unite to call for intentionally inclusive education, research, and work cultures to empower and inspire future women scientists.