Celebrating women and girls in science

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Elizabeth  Gasiorowski-Denis
By Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis
Published on

From Marie Curie to Barbara McClintock, women have played an instrumental role in science and have not only helped to develop but have defined the world that we live in today. This year’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science is a reminder that women and girls play a critical role in science and technology communities and that their participation should be strengthened. 

With the theme “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Water Unites Us”, the Day brings attention to the necessity of women in science and gender equality to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 on clean water and sanitation. Gender equality is a global priority for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the support of young girls, their education and their full ability to make their ideas heard are levers for development.

Dr Veronica Muzquiz Edwards has taken the value of education to heart, using it to guide her own career journey. Today, Dr Edwards is President and CEO of the Healthcare Standards Institute, an ANSI-accredited standards developer dedicated to enhancing the health and well-being of individuals while improving the equity, efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare organizations through the development of standards. 

“To embrace the realm of our shared humanity, we must also appreciate what makes us different,” she says. “Women bring a powerful, unique and holistic lens to science that has the potential to advance the industry in ways previously overlooked or underexplored.”

Dr Edwards is also the Chair of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 304, Healthcare organization management. The international committee, which includes 32 participating and observing countries, is charged with developing global standards for healthcare administration, including important topics such as telehealth, pandemic response and healthcare quality management.  

Amid a global push to get more girls interested in science, technology, engineering and math, Dr Edwards highlights the need for more women in standardization. “The addition of female thought leaders will produce a new generation of science-based standards that are truly collaborative. Every year, many innovative women graduate from countries around the world. Their pathway towards the science industry requires awareness and professional mentorship from each of us.”

With its far-reaching Gender Action Plan, ISO has made it its priority to focus on collecting data, creating a network to share best practice, and raising awareness of standards in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Dr Edwards is among the thousands of experts engaging in global conversations regarding ISO standards while collaborating with professionals in the field from around the world, building a sustainable, gender-equal tomorrow.

Join the conversation with #WomenInScience!

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