On March 8th, International Women’s Day,  our women scientists speak on what it means to be a woman researcher, their accomplishments and challenges.

PADMAJA RAVULA

Senior Scientist – Gender Research, Theme on Markets, Institutions, Nutrition & Diversity- Innovation Systems for the Drylands Program

SABINE HOMANN-KEE TUI

Senior Scientist, Theme on Markets, Institutions, Nutrition & Diversity- Innovation Systems for the Drylands Program

Sabine Homann-Kee Tui . Scientist - Theme on Markets, Institutions, Nutrition & Diversity

Sabine Homann-Kee Tui . Scientist – Theme on Markets, Institutions, Nutrition & Diversity

My priorities are to:

  • Better understand the context, barriers and opportunities for women and men farmers to use their resources more sustainably and profitably
  • Illustrate the multiple benefits of better integrated and market-oriented crop livestock farming systems
  • Enable various actors, particularly women, in research and engagement processes, through partnerships to upgrade locally available skills and effective scaling out.

Women researchers have skills such as the ability to bring people of different interests to the table; engage multiple sources of knowledge to develop solutions grounded in local peoples’ interests, beliefs and identity; and to create an open atmosphere where people can express themselves and take social responsibility.”

HIMABINDU KUDAPA

Scientist – Genomics and Molecular Breeding. Theme on Forward & Integrated Breeding- Genetic Gains Program

Himabindu Kudapa. Scientist - Genomics and Molecular Breeding

Himabindu Kudapa. Scientist – Genomics and Molecular Breeding

WHY DID YOU WANT TO BECOME A SCIENTIST?

I was motivated to be a scientist by the desire to make a tangible contribution to agriculture in order to increase food production for the rapid growing population. Climate change will have harsh impacts on global food production and the livelihood of marginal farmers. I believe international agricultural research has wide scope to discover ways to improve crop quality and increase crop production. Field and laboratory experiments for a given trait of interest can address such problems.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

The continuous tussle for grant money together with other tasks forces us to spend more time in paperwork than in doing actual research. Agreed that big science requires big money and that to succeed in science means doing well at many non-research-related activities as well. Greater private and public funding for research and development would certainly help. So it isn’t enough for young scientists to merely have a list of big ideas….they also need to run a business to support these great ideas!

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT?

My greatest career achievement has been winning two Young Scientist Awards from two prestigious science academies last year (the Indian National Science Academy and National Academy of Sciences) based on significant contributions in developing genomic resources and using them to understand the mechanism of stress tolerance in legumes.

JANA KHOLOVA

Scientist – Cereals Physiology, Theme on Systems Analysis for Climate Smart Agriculture- Innovation Systems for the Drylands Program

Jana Kholova. Scientist - Cereals Physiology

Jana Kholova. Scientist – Cereals Physiology

WHY DID YOU WANT TO BECOME A SCIENTIST?

Because I wanted to make my life useful in the best way I could and like.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

People are involved in research but are not following the basic philosophical principles of research, i.e. philo and sophia (the love of wisdom/knowledge). Many people involved in research nowadays are more interested in growing their egos than growing knowledge for the collective good of civilization.

WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF SUCCESS?

Success is when the piece of work (whatever it is) you do can contribute to the well-being of our planet and creatures we share it with so that our planet becomes a better and happier place to live on.

DAMARIS ODENY

Theme leader – Biotechnology (ESA), Theme on Genomics & Trait Discovery- Genetic Gains Program

Damaris Odeny. Scientist - Biotechnology (ESA)

Damaris Odeny. Scientist – Biotechnology (ESA)

WHY DID YOU WANT TO BECOME A SCIENTIST?

Because I wanted to make my life useful in the best way I could and like.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

My biggest challenge has been how to make a difference! I initially thought that the more qualified I was, the easier it would be for me to make a tangible difference, especially towards poverty reduction. But I now understand better how complex global problems are and I appreciate much more how different disciplines, gender and leadership can more effectively help address these issues by working more closely together.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT?

Getting involved in mentoring young upcoming scientists and being a role model to other women aspiring to become scientists.

This content was published on the CGIAR Collaborative Platform on Gender Research.

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