A day to celebrate women in science

International Day of Women and Girls in Science
The Women’s has nine research centres, seven of which are led by women
11 February 2016 | Events

Today is the first International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

It’s a reminder for all of us that globally, women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science. It’s also a time to celebrate the leadership of many remarkable women.

CEO of the Women’s Dr Sue Matthews said a commitment to research was a critical part of the hospital’s vision for excellence in healthcare.

“Investing in our people through research training and embedding health and medical research into all that we do enables us to deliver world-class healthcare for all women and babies,” Dr Matthews said.

On this first International Day of Women and Girls in Science we celebrate the achievements of all our research leaders including:

  • Professor Louise Newman, Centre for Women’s Mental Health
  • Professor Suzanne Garland, Centre for Women’s Infectious Diseases
  • Assoc. Professor Alicia Dennis, anaesthetics research
  • Professor Della Forster, Midwifery and Maternity Services Research Unit
  • Professor Martha Hickey, Gynaecology Research Centre
  • Assoc Professor Orla McNally, Women’s Cancer Research Centre
  • Swee Wong, pharmacy research
  • Dr Margaret Sherburn, physiotherapy research
  • Elizabeth Gasparini, nutrition and dietetics research

The United Nations has declared this new international day to redress the exclusion of women and girls from science, a trend that has continued to persist despite substantial effort across the global community.  

According to a study conducted in 14 countries, the probability for female students of graduating with a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree or Doctor’s degree in a science-related field are 18 per cent, 8 per cent and 2 per cent respectively. The percentages for male students are 37 per cent, 18 per cent and 6 per cent.

The UN wants to help 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.

“This year, the Women’s celebrates its 160th anniversary,” Dr Matthews said. “It is a milestone we are very proud of. The Women’s was Australia’s first public hospital for women and is now Australia’s largest specialist hospital for women.

“As such we are continually developing our research capability to meet the evolving needs of women and babies in Victoria and further afield.

“Our challenge now is to realise our vision by creating an environment where excellence can flourish so that we can improve the health and wellbeing not only of our patients, but of all people.”