Women in science: breaking the cliché

Professor Dame Julia Slingo, DBE, former chief scientist of the Met Office in the UK, Ms. Elena Manaenkova, Deputy Secretary-General of the WMO and Fabiola Gianotti, CERN Director-General, discussing their experiences in science. (Image: Max Brice/CERN)

On 4 May, Fabiola Gianotti, CERN Director-General, participated in a panel discussion called "Breaking the cliché - Women in science", which took place in Geneva. The event was co-organised by the International Gender Champions, the Mission permanente de la France auprès de l'ONU à Genève and the World Meteorological Organization.

The main goal of the event was to share experiences and discuss possible ways to increase the participation of women in all scientific fields.

Fabiola Gianotti shared how reading the biography of Marie Curie at the age of 17 contributed to inspiring her to study physics and then undertake a career in science. She emphasised the importance of diversity in general – not only in terms of gender, but also ethnicity, culture and traditions.

Diversity and equality have always been CERN’s strengths and they must be nurtured constantly. As the Director-General said in a recent article addressed to the CERN community: “It is incumbent on all of us to ensure that diversity is cherished as a fundamental value of this Organization, with zero tolerance for sexist, homophobic or racist behaviour.”