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With the President of the Hellenic Republic on the “International Day of Women and Girls in Science”

With the occasion of the “International Day of Women and Girls in Science” (February 11th), our School offered us the unique opportunity to visit the National Center of Scientific Research “Demokrtitos” and to attend the speech, by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, on the place of the woman in the scientific field. Distinguished women- researchers of Demokritos participated in the event while we were given the chance to express our views, our expectations and concerns about the future and the possible inequalities that a woman may encounter in a male dominated field.

The Pierce students who participated were: Alexandra-Elissavet Feloukatzi, Maria Choromidi, Ioanna Mantziou, Aphrodite Koffa and Maria Douka. We all posed questions, expressed our concerns and listened to the opinion of the President with great interest.

In the open discussion that followed, there was an analysis of the factors that deter women from selecting a career in scientific fields and we listened to encouraging words with the aim for us not to succumb to stereotypical views of our social environment but, on the contrary, to believe in ourselves and in our own abilities. However, what made us delve deeper and better understand the situation were Ms. Sakellaropoulou’s words “When a man shouts, he is dynamic, when a woman does it, she is hysterical…”

Through this unique experience, we realized that it is up to us to eradicate stereotypes about women in the workplace and not to allow anyone to become an obstacle to our fulfilling our dreams. We are sure and optimistic that the girls our age will not hesitate to dynamically enter every professional field and succeed in their work and make their presence known. What particularly touched us was the interest and the affection with which the acclaimed women of the scientific field advised us and compelled us to actualize our dreams, with no limits.

We would like to thank the Director of the Educational Programs of Demokritos, Ms. Sophia Kalokairinou, (Pierce Graduate) for her invitation, as well as our school for offering us this unique opportunity,

Aphrodite Koffa
Ioanna Mantziou