Women in Science

“Women in science attract more women in science”

February 11 marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a global celebration that shines a light on the groundbreaking achievements of female scientists both throughout history and today. This day also serves as a powerful reminder of the persistent gender disparities within the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) across the globe.

The role of role models

Role models play a crucial role in inspiring the next generation of female scientists. Stories of contemporary women who are leading the way in their respective fields serve as powerful motivators for young girls. In celebration of the 2024 International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we aim to showcase our female staff members. Our belief is strong in the power of role models; we understand that showcasing successful women in science encourages more women to pursue scientific careers.

In the upcoming weeks, we will regularly share stories from some of our female staff members. Through a series of interviews, we've delved into their journeys into science, exploring what drives their passion for working in this field and detailing the work they currently undertake in our labs.

»I've always tried to create an atmosphere in the lab where teamwork and team spirit can flourish. People should help each other to create a kind of find a win-win situation for everyone.« [more]
»… there are phases where you go through ups and downs. Those moments when experiments fail and everything seems to come to a halt are tough. However, overcoming these challenges builds resilience and courage for future endeavors: go with your gut feeling, trust yourself, and then: just take the leap.« [more]
»Young girls should follow their curiosity and intuition. If they like interacting with computers, have an analytic kind of mind and are fascinated by biological questions and want to push the limits of knowledge further, they should go for it. Everything else can be learned along the way.« [more]
»…this particular moment, when I realize it, I'm probably the only person in the world who knows this answer or who's actually seeing it or who's showing it for the first time. This is an amazing feeling.« [more]
Haneul Yoo

Haneul Yoo

Ulrike Bönisch

Ulrike Bönisch

Paloma Martzloff

Paloma Martzloff

More to come: We will publish more interviews and stories in the next days – until the Interational Women’s Day 2024 on March 8. So stay tuned or follow us on Social Media.


Did you know?

  • Women are typically given smaller research grants than their male colleagues and, while they represent 33.3% of all researchers, only 12% of members of national science academies are women. (UN)
  • Female researchers tend to have shorter, less well-paid careers. Their work is underrepresented in high-profile journals and they are often passed over for promotion. (UN)
  • The Matilda effect refers to the systematic denial of the contributions of female scientists in research and the appropriation of their work by male colleagues. An example is Rosalind Franklin's (1920-1958) research findings on the elucidation of the DNA double helix structure. Three of her colleagues used her results without asking, received the Nobel Prize in 1962, and did not mention their deceased colleague at all. (MPG)
  • The Max Planck Society has very special voluntary commitment: The Society uses gender quotas to increase the proportion of women in management positions at three different pay levels. These quotas indicate the ratio in which vacant positions should be filled by women. In addition, at least one female director is to be employed at each Max Planck Institute by the end of 2030. (MPG)

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