Women in Science 2017 1Inspirational scientific careers at the ‘Women in Science – Breaking the Cliché’ event on the 4th of May 2017 at the World Meteorological Organisation’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Women in Science - event commenced with a panel of three prominent scientists who shared their passionate stories about their scientific career. The director of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, Fabiola Gianotti, explained how reading the biography of Marie Curie at an age of 17 changed her study path from humanities to physics. The Deputy-Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Elena Manaenkova, was stimulated by her mother to become a professional pianist. She quickly realised that she would rather spent her time reading through piles of books about nature and space, which led her to decide on a career in meteorology. Former Chief scientist at the UK Met Office, Dame Julia Slingo, pointed out how flexible work arrangements enabled her to combine a career with household tasks.

These inspirational talks were followed by short presentations about a few tangible initiatives that aim to attract more women to science. Fiona Tummon, the international project office director of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) core project on Stratosphere-troposphere Processes And their Role in Climate (SPARC), outlined an early career vision of the future of women in science on behalf of the Young Earth System Scientists community (YESS). Fiona highlighted the increasing amount of female role models in science, such as the three IPCC Working Group co-chairs. Furthermore, she indicated that within the YESS leadership women are very well represented at over 60%. It shows that a new generation of bright young women are ready to contribute and to advance their careers in science. In the future we have to consider how to deal with broader societal structures, such as economics and politics, in order to sustain and increase the opportunities for well-respected careers in science for both women and men.

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The event was organized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations Office in Geneva.

Please find more information on the WMO event webpage