Marie Curie, Hypatia of Alexandria and Rosalind Franklin are probably some of the few names that sound familiar when talking about women in science. Unfortunately, not many more names stand out and neither do their contributions to science and, of course, society.
Throughout history, there have been many brilliant women in science whose work has been unrecognized. Being a female scientist in the past was an almost impossible task: gender gaps, difficult access to education and stereotypes were important barriers that hindered women from participating in this discipline. In addition, those few who managed to carve a niche in this world, saw how their work was hidden, neglected or forgotten.
Nowadays, although there are many more opportunities, women and girls continue to be excluded from participating in science. In fact, according to the report Científicas en Cifras 2015, 39% of the research staff in Spain are women, whereas the average in Europe is 33%. Even though this percentage may seem optimistic beforehand, the role of these women is still quite critical in science and technology communities, since stereotypes are still in force and therefore, female presence is disproportionately low in other aspects such as in positions of responsibility or in award nominations.
To show the importance of women in science and the significant contributions they have made, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science is celebrated every February 11th. This day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and to stimulate scientific vocations in girls.
From the Computer Vision Center we wanted to celebrate this special day by giving voice to our female researchers. According to the report mentioned above, there are also inequalities between the different fields of science and it is precisely in the technological fields in which there is a lower female presence, with a mean of 18% of research staff. Our female researchers have a lot to say and a lot to contribute, discovering what was the reason that led them to dedicate themselves to science: