International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2023

  • International Day of Women & Girls in Science is 11 February 2023.
  • Organised by the United Nations, the event aims to close the gender gap in STEM.
  • Despite small gains, women are less likely to pursue careers in STEM.
  • Only 10% of engineers are female, and women still only represent 46% of science professionals.
  • This year’s theme is IDEAS: Bringing everyone forward for sustainable and equitable development.

It’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2023! On #FEBRUARY11, the United Nations (UN) launches its annual campaign to highlight the importance of closing the gender gap for women in STEM. The organisers have chosen IDEAS: Bringing communities forward for sustainable and equitable development as this year’s theme, linking advances in STEM equity with the UN’s sustainable development goal 6 (clean water and sanitation), 7 (affordable and clean energy), and 11 (sustainable cities and communities).

Research Features previously celebrated Women in Science Day with a special issue. This year, we’ve brought together some of our favourite articles about women in science and in STEM, to celebrate their contributions to research, as well as highlight the barriers that many female scientists, STEM researchers, and engineers face.

Read on the learn about how the organisation WISE is stemming the flow of gender inequality across the sciences and how Professor Alice Roberts is on a mission to de-gender science. Our managing editor writes about how a diverse range of voices working in STEM is good for all of us. We also find out about a partnership that supports female scientists by UNESCO and L’Oréal. Plus, more fantastic articles on women in science below.

 WISE: Stemming the flow of gender inequality across the sciences


The WISE Campaign is a membership organisation that provides expert resources and advice for businesses and a network designed to encourage UK women to pursue STEM courses and careers, tackling the current gender inequality issues seen within the STEM sector.

Since its inception, WISE has worked tirelessly to ensure women receive equal rights to men in terms of support, opportunities, and career progression. At the heart of this success is Helen Wollaston – WISE’s Chief Executive since 2012.

De-gendering science: Professor Alice Roberts on engaging everyone in research


Professor Alice Roberts is one of the most recognisable faces in science, appearing regularly on television programmes since the early 2000s and bringing diverse subjects to a huge audience.

As such, she is well-placed to be Professor of Public Engagement with Science at the University of Birmingham. We spoke to Alice about inspiring people to engage with research and encouraging academics to connect with a community beyond the university walls.

Diversity makes the difference

Abstract model of woman of DNA molecule. Eps 10


Innovations in STEM touch almost every aspect of our lives, from our health to our soap, to the very device you’re reading this on.

As International Women’s Day celebrates the achievement of women, we explore how a diverse range of voices in STEM is beneficial for all of us.


Women in Science: L’Oréal and UNESCO partnership supports female scientists


Only 15% of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics sector roles in the UK are currently filled by women, but the L’Oréal-UNESCO partnership looks to change that.
Working on the premise that ‘the world needs science, and science needs women’, nearly 20 years ago, L’Oréal and UNESCO began a programme that has since recognised and supported over 2,000 scientists in over 100 countries.


Gender equality as a precondition for excellence: the core mission of EPWS in European research policy


In 1988, Dr Brigitte Mühlenbruch became the University of Bonn’s first Equal Opportunities Commissioner, and is now Honorary President of the European Platform of Women Scientists EPWS, an international organisation she initiated in 2005.

With almost 30 years of experience fighting for gender equality in science and research behind her, she is a force for change on both the national and European levels and a voice to be reckoned with.


Factors that affect scientific production in Africa: a gender analysis


Consistent research findings have reported that the scientific production of female researchers is lower than that of men. However, research on this area in Africa, especially with regard to gender, is scarce.

Even after half a century of empirical research on gender differences in scientific production conducted in developed countries, no single explanation or group of explanations satisfactorily accounts for the phenomenon.

500 Women Scientists: Taking action towards a more inclusive society


Across the globe, women in science face discrimination, unequal pay, and reduced opportunities. 500 Women Scientists (500WS) is working towards an inclusive society where science and knowledge can be embraced, and everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential.
500WS aims to represent the voices of tens of thousands of women scientists all over the globe, fighting racism, and oppressive societal norms to help women blossom in STEM.




Research Features salutes all the women working in STEM, the trailblazers inspiring future generations in science.

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