Women in Science

A fact sheet published in June 2019 by UNESCO estimates that worldwide 29.3 percent of research scientists are women. As International Women’s Day occurs in March we decided to look more closely at the experience of women in the sciences. The IMPACT team consists of more than a few women, including some who have newly embarked on their career as emerging science researchers, so we asked them for their thoughts on the matter.

The gender gap in science: women as a share of total researchers (UNESCO)

Manisha Khatri is a computer scientist who is currently completing her master’s degree. Giving the fact sheet a moment of silent contemplation, she noted that the numbers seem quite promising in certain regions such as central Asia and Latin America where more than 40% of researchers are women. However, she made clear that the situation is far from ideal:

From a different angle, Camille Woods — an Earth scientist with a M.S. in atmospheric science — sees the data as evidence that young women need support systems and encouragement to nurture their love for science and engage them throughout their schooling and career:

When asked about what inspired them as women scientists, Camille shared a story about a childhood fear of thunderstorms and the comforting calm that professional meteorologists conveyed even through the medium of television. Reflecting on the recent tornadoes that struck the middle Tennessee region, Camille demonstrated how science has a deep human side:

Drone footage of the destruction caused by a tornado in Putnam County (WVLT, Knoxville)

Manisha indicated that it was the challenge of problem solving that drew her to computer science, a field that “can help resolve or come up with innovative solutions for problems in other fields.” In particular, she is interested in exploring ways in which data science and AI artificial intelligence can address problems in the health industry.

Both Manisha and Camille had thoughts on inspiring the next generation of young women who aspire to a career in the sciences. Manisha encourages young women, stating:

Camille stresses the importance of perseverance and persistence for any young woman looking to enter a field of science. Just as critical, she points out, is self-confidence:



This is the unofficial blog of the Interagency Implementation and Advanced Concepts Team.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
IMPACT Unofficial

This is the unofficial blog of the Interagency Implementation and Advanced Concepts Team.