Insights and inspiration: introducing the FEBS Network's Women in Science profiles series

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The period this year from February 11 (International Day of Women and Girls in Science) to March 8 (International Women's Day) has provided a time for reflection on women in science. These international days marked by the UN help us to give visibility to latent situations and problems.

You might think for what? If women are already occupying the positions that, due to their professional and personal competence, correspond to them there might not be an issue – but they are not. Year after year we wait for demographics and statistics on higher education to play their role and to close the "scissors" but progress is still needed. In the most senior decision-making roles in the final stretch of our academic careers, women are in a minority (<30%) in many European countries [She Figures 2018 (2019)]. And partly because of this, there are insufficient role models for the next generation. 

In the FEBS Network we began a series of Q&A posts to help highlight such role models, and on the occasion of International Women's Day 2021 we draw attention to them below. Several contributions are from women who give their time and energy on FEBS committees to oversee or directly participate in FEBS programs of activities for the research and teaching community. We thank all the women who have shared their profiles, showing that their curiosity and perseverance have no limits. To the rest, we are waiting for you! Share this post!

Women in Science profiles: Graça Soveral
"...intelligence, hard work and resilience are the ingredients for a successful career."

Women in Science profiles: Bianca Zingales
"In my PhD studies, scientific journals arrived in Brazil by ship and I was made aware of scientific advances two months after their publication."

Women in Science profiles: Consuelo Guerri
" requires a dedicated and very hard-working individual that maintains their enthusiasm and curiosity, without being discouraged when sometimes it appears difficult to achieve their research goals."

Women in Science profiles: Ozlem Dalmizrak
"Failure is a natural part of a human life and it is not the opposite of success. It is an opportunity to re-evaluate the strategy."

Women in Science profiles: Evangelia Petsalaki
"Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t do."

Women in Science profiles: Myrtani Pieri
"Science moves in little steps, and I have only made little steps so far, but I am very proud of them!"

Women in Science profiles: María A Serrano
"My scientific career has been fascinating and very enriching, but has also come with some difficult moments..."

Women In Science profiles: Irene Díaz-Moreno
"Beyond the scientific achievements, I am especially proud of the training of my PhD students..."

Women In Science profiles: Ferhan G. Sagin
"Dream big! Never limit yourself working as a scientist for being a woman!"

Women In Science profiles: Isabel Varela Nieto
"The solutions: enthusiasm, work, more work and more enthusiasm."

Isabel Varela Nieto

Research Professor, CSIC

Dr. Isabel Varela-Nieto graduated and earned her doctorate in Chemistry, Biochemistry Section, at the University Complutense of Madrid (Spain). She has been a visiting guest scientist at the Medical Schools of Uppsala (FEBS Fellow, Sweden) and San Diego (MEC Sabbatical, USA). She is Professor of Research at the CSIC and group leader at the CIBER of rare diseases (CIBERER, ISCIII) in Madrid. From the early 1990s she has been studying hearing neurobiology and IGF-1 actions. She was the first Chair of the SEBBM Science for Society working group with which she actively collaborates. She is currently the president of the SEBBM and a member of the FEBS Network working group and FEBS Science and Society Committee.


Go to the profile of László Fésüs
9 months ago

Great initiative! Thanks Isabel.

I am looking forward to read the upcoming posts.

Laszlo Fesus

Go to the profile of Angel Herráez
9 months ago

A big applause for this idea. Well done, Isabel!

Many appreciate the role of women colleagues in science, hard-working and restless. Unfortunately this perception has not yet seeped through in some circles. We must keep pushing!