Every year, on February 11th, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science is observed to combat gender preconceptions and biases that inhibit women and girls from participating in STEM disciplines.
Women have fought for years to be recognized for their academic accomplishments, and they seldom received it during their lifetimes. Even in today’s world, women are still dramatically underrepresented in scientific and technological disciplines.
However, as women find themselves fighting against the same issues for generations, they have become increasingly vocal about their exclusion from STEM fields. Today we can advocate for gender equality and highlight quotes of successful women in science to encourage other women and girls.
The following quotes are a few of our favourites:
“When I was in high school, I was certain that being an astronaut was my goal. It was a very important time — Sally Ride was making her first flight into space and she had a real impact on me. Those ‘firsts’ kind of stick in your head and really become inspirations for you.” — Karen Nyberg, NASA astronaut
“Certain people – men, of course – discouraged me, saying [science] was not a good career for women. That pushed me even more to persevere.” – Francoise Barré, virologist and winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity.” – Mae Jemison, physicist and astronaut
“If you know you are on the right track, if you have this inner knowledge, then nobody can turn you off… no matter what they say.” – Barbara McClintock, cytogeneticist and winner of the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
“People ask me all the time: ‘What is it like to be a woman at Google?’ I’m not a woman at Google, I’m a geek at Google. And being a geek is just great. I’m a geek, I like to code, I even like to use spreadsheets when I cook.” – technologist Marissa Mayer and former CEO of Yahoo.
“I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy.” – Marie Curie, physicist, chemist, and winner of the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics and the 1911 Nobel Prize in Physics
“I hadn’t been aware that there were doors closed to me until I started knocking on them.” – Gertrude B. Elion, biochemist, pharmacologist, and winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” – Rachel Carson, marine biologist, conservationist and author
“Science is not a boy’s game, it’s not a girl’s game. It’s everyone’s game. It’s about where we are and where we’re going. Space travel benefits us here on Earth. And we ain’t stopped yet. There’s more exploration to come.” – Nichelle Nichols, former NASA Ambassador.
“I didn’t want to just know names of things. I remember really wanting to know how it all worked.” – Elizabeth Blackburn, winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine
“I used to not like being called a ‘woman architect.’ I’m an architect, not just a woman architect. The guys used to tap me on the head and say ‘you’re OK for a girl.’ But I see an incredible amount of need from other women for reassurance that it can be done, so I don’t mind anymore.” – Internationally renowned architect Zaha Hadid
Peace Nero is a writer and blogger who loves to explore different topics of self-development. She shares her personal experiences in order to help people discover their true purpose in life.