Editorial Feature

Innovation and Inspiration: Celebrating Women in Science on AZoM

The 2023 International Day of Women and Girls in Science is a widely celebrated UN World Day spotlighting the drive for gender equity in science. As a global, open-access scientific platform, AZoM is celebrating this world day with a series of interviews featuring women who are excelling in their field of materials science and engineering.

According to the American Association of University Women1, women make up only 28% of the workforce in STEM fields. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math and represents the sectors in which women and girls remain underrepresented at all levels.

This statistic is corroborated by a PNAS study2 from 2020 that compared gendered representation in science and technology fields in 83 countries. By looking at journal publication history, the report found that the overall gender ratio was 73% male and 27% female across 13 disciplines.

Popularly cited means of encouraging the participation of women and girls in STEM are understanding biases and addressing them through, for example, outreach at early levels of education, better representation in learning resources, effective mentorship, and addressing discrimination in hiring discussions. These are just some of the ways that STEM fields can nurture the passion of women and girls of all ages.

This year, AZoM spoke with four incredible women in the fields of materials science and engineering to discuss their impressive careers. AZoM platforms female researchers and industry professionals year round, but we believe that these deep dives will be particularly inspirational to our audience.

Dr. Giulia Galli 

Giulia Galli is a condensed-matter physicist. She is the Liew Family Professor of Electronic Structure and Simulations in the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Chicago and senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. She is also the director of the Midwest Integrated Center for Computational Materials. 

Read Dr. Galli's interview here. 

Dr. Katharina Marquardt

Dr. Katharina Marquardt is a senior lecturer at the department of Materials at Imperial College London.
Her group used novel electron microscopy in combination with other characterization techniques to study the fundamental mechanisms of microstructural evolution and degradation.

Read Dr. Marquardt's interview here. 

Professor Laura Gagliardi 

Laura Gagliardi is Richard and Kathy Leventhal Professor of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago and the James Franck Institute. At the University of Chicago, she is the Director of the Chicago Center for Theoretical Chemistry and the Director of the Catalyst Design for Decarbonization Center. Dr. Gagliardi also leads the Gagliardi Group, which is composed of scientists and engineers who develop and employ advanced quantum and classical simulations as well as data science to discover and understand the next generation of chemical systems and materials. 

Read Prof. Gagliardi's interview here. 

Dr. Debrupa Lahiri

Debrupa Lahiri is an associate professor, jointly in the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering and Centre for Nanotechnology, IIT Roorkee, India. She received her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Florida International University, USA, M. Tech from IIT Kanpur, India, and B.E from Bengal Engineering College, India (IIEST). In addition to her nine years of experience in academia, she has eight years of experience in industry and research environments, which includes serving as a Scientist in the Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), Department of Atomic Energy, India. 

Read Dr. Lahiri's interview here. 


You can learn more about the International Day of Women and Girls in Science here. 


Asare, J.G. (2018) How to increase female representation in the stem field, Forbes. Forbes Magazine. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/janicegassam/2018/10/16/how-to-increase-female-representation-in-the-stem-field/?sh=26409d50466a (Accessed: February 9, 2023).

Women in STEM statistics (2022) Stem Women. Available at: https://www.stemwomen.com/women-in-stem-percentages-of-women-in-stem-statistics (Accessed: February 9, 2023).

1The stem gap: Women and girls in Science, Technology, engineering and Mathematics (2022) AAUW. Available at: https://www.aauw.org/resources/research/the-stem-gap/ (Accessed: February 9, 2023).

2Stockard, J., Rohlfing, C.M. and Richmond, G.L. (2021) “Equity for women and underrepresented minorities in STEM: Graduate experiences and career plans in Chemistry,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(4). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2020508118.

Skyla Baily

Written by

Skyla Baily

Skyla graduated from the University of Manchester with a BSocSc Hons in Social Anthropology. During her studies, Skyla worked as a research assistant, collaborating with a team of academics, and won a social engagement prize for her dissertation. With prior experience in writing and editing, Skyla joined the editorial team at AZoNetwork in the year after her graduation. Outside of work, Skyla’s interests include snowboarding, in which she used to compete internationally, and spending time discovering the bars, restaurants and activities Manchester has to offer!


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