Perspectives Blog

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Women Scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19
By Dr. Anne Phillips

Senior Vice President of Clinical, Medical and Regulatory Affairs, Novo Nordisk US

February 11, 2021

International Day of Women and Girls in Science is February 11, and in 2021 we celebrate the “Women Scientists at the Forefront of the Fight against COVID-19.” I work in an industry with some incredible female scientists and every day am in awe of how they innovate and tackle challenges to fight COVID-19, from developing vaccines, to finding ways to care for high-risk patients, to balancing work and family.

Yet, the pandemic is also exposing and widening existing gender gaps in science that result in less than 30% of researchers worldwide being women. To combat this, we must start by acknowledging the tremendous efforts of the women who overcome socioeconomic, racial and cultural barriers to deliver brilliance in the field.

As a woman scientist, I’m proud of the opportunity I had at the start of the pandemic to mobilize an esteemed team to build a health data mapping tool that enables us to continue serving our patients while ensuring employee safety. By aggregating data to track hyperlocal COVID-19 indicators, we can assess if in-person or virtual engagement is preferred—all with the goal of continuing to provide critical access to our medicines.

I believe in the power and necessity of diversity and I encourage us all to celebrate the women who make the world a better and safer place. 

Learn more about International Day of Women and Girls in Science.