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Breaking Barriers: Celebrating Women in STEM and Advocating for Gender Equality

The stories of female researchers in D4RUNOFF and waterun

Today, we celebrate the remarkable achievements of women in STEM and advocate for greater gender equality in science and technology.

This day serves as a powerful reminder of the gender gap in STEM fields and the urgent need to achieve equality. Under the theme “Women in Science Leadership: A New Era for Sustainability,” we recognise the invaluable contributions of women scientists who are leading the charge in climate action and health. From tackling climate change to improving global health, these women are at the forefront of addressing our greatest challenges.

Here at D4RUNOFF and WATERUN, we are proud to have inspiring female scientists driving our research forward. Today, different researchers from both projects share their personal stories, perspectives, and inspirations, shedding light on what science means to them.

For Sara Garcia Argüelles, a researcher in charge of chemical characterisation of materials at the University of Cantabria, science is not the new religion; rather, it is a collage that grows and grows without stopping and leaves no one out.

Alma Skjold Knudsen at VandCenter Syd believes that science is a method by which we uncover knowledge about the world we live in.

According to Marianna Zolyomiova from Dublin City University science means curiosity, perseverance, and knowledge. It combines two of her favourite activities: making observations and conducting experiments.

Another scientist, Luz Herrero Castilla (AIMEN) says “science is my way of life and also a way to understand what happens around me.”

Traditionally male-dominated, the water sector is experiencing a positive shift as more women pursue careers in water management. Gender diversity in this sector leads to improved leadership, transparency, and sustainability. We are inspired by these trailblasing women and their commitment to making a difference.

Despite the challenges, what motivated these women to pursue a career in water management sector?

Begoña Espiña, a marine biologist working in INL, emphasises the importance of investigating and mitigating the environmental impact of human activities on water ecosystems.

De Simoni Lucia (Universita Politecnica Delle Marche) highlights that water is a precious resource and she believes that correct management as well as the development of innovative and sustainable solutions are essential for its recovery. For Lucia, the analysis and study of these aspects have been always interested her.

How can other female researchers get inspired and follow a career path in STEM?

The answer is clear: Be curious, determined, and collaborative. Don’t let external barriers deter you—fight to overcome them and raise your voice. As Begoña says “, there should not be any external barrier that prevents you to become the great scientist that you can be. If there are, do not be afraid to fight to overcome them.”

Together, we can create a more inclusive and equitable STEM community. Join us in celebrating #WomenInScience and #WomenInSTEM today and every day as we continue to champion gender equality in science and technology. Let’s build a brighter future together!

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