For International Women’s Day (08 March) and International Day of Women and Girls in Science (11 February), IRRI organized a week-long series of events to highlight the work of its women scientists and provide an opportunity for some of them to mentor young men and women.
IRRI’s Human Resources and Organizational Development (HROD) and Advocacy and Brand (A&B) units launched a video-essay contest for high school students entitled, “#GirlsWhoScience: What’s stopping girls from pursuing a career in Science?”
Students from UP Rural High School, Los Baños National High School (Poblacion), and Dayap National High School submitted their entries by posting on social media and tagging IRRI’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
IRRI invited the winners to a shadowing opportunity, where IRRI’s women scientists, Amelia Henry, Sharifah Shahrul Syed Alwee, Berta Miro, and Olivyn Angeles, shared their work and how it has impacted the global rice sector.
To culminate the shadowing opportunity, HROD and A&B organized a session where the students shared their key takeaways and learnings from the experience. The culminating activity also featured breakout sessions where the students, their classmates, and teachers further discussed key topics related to women in science. Belen Thirkell, Specialist - Visitor Experience, also talked about RiceWorld Learning Programs and led a field visit on the avian biodiversity of IRRI.
Lastly, on 06 March, Dr. Rhodora Aldemita, a multi-awarded crop scientist and science communicator, addressed IRRI staff and talked about the important roles that women scientists play in society. Dr. Aldemita shared how women must be supported to overcome barriers to success despite multiple responsibilities that they are expected to fulfill.
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