Science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Over the past decades, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science. Yet women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science. In order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, the United Nations General Assembly declared 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in 2015. To mark the occasion, we asked our female researchers the question, why did you become a scientist?

Why did you become a scientist?

Jiajing Zhang

To make this world a bit better and a bit more beautiful because of my existence and my professional skills.

Simone Lenk

I became a scientist out of curiosity and enjoyment of research.

Sandra Zimmermann

The only thing I can truly do is think along with others, and this ability is very well encouraged and demanded here. At the beginning of my studies, my goal was to understand how computers work, but now it is to understand the interaction in distributed systems.

Evelyn Muschter

Since I was a child, I wanted to know and understand absolutely everything. Grandpa often took us on expeditions and my parents constantly had to get me new books. But I think I became a scientist through great mentors and learning by doing. Even during my bachelor’s degree, my professor allowed me to make my first steps as a scientist through research work in the lab. I then also worked in a clinical setting for a year, which is when I finally realized that I wanted to be a researcher.

Xuerui Peng

It excites me to know that I may be the first person in the world who finds or knows about a phenomenon.

Lisa-Marie Lüneburg

I think the possibilities that new technologies give us are super exciting and in science you get a great insight into the developments of tomorrow. With my research, I am investigating application areas in which the Tactile Internet promotes the well-being of people and I hope to make the future a little better.

Philippa R. C. Böhnke

Through my work as a student assistant, I was able to gain deeper insights into the world of research during my studies. However, it was mainly another scientist who impressed me with her research questions and tasks and thus awakened the desire in me to strive for such a career myself. I am proud to have made it and to be able to work and research scientifically with a great team and an inspiring role model.

Tina Bobbe

To explore the potential of design.

Gesche Vigh

I became a scientist out of curiosity. To generate knowledge and to bring humanity a little further forward.

Our Network for Women and Girls