Lightbulb moments

On the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, CGIAR and CIMMYT scientists share their career journeys.

Read the original piece by Madeline Dahm on the CIMMYT website

The challenges facing our food system are growing, both in size and in complexity. In order to tackle these issues and meet the needs of our changing world, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) understands the importance of assembling a workforce that is diverse, creative and representative. In addition to encouraging STEM careers and hiring more women in scientific positions, we must also foster a more encouraging scientific community for women whose careers are just sparking.

Whether it is through a school field trip, a first internship or a PhD thesis project, CIMMYT is committed to encouraging young women to step into the lab and the fields, and up to the challenge, as we strive to create a more equitable community. On the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we are inspired by the words of some of the many brilliant women whose scientific careers are just beginning, lighting the pathway to a more equitable future.


The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is particularly meaningful to CIMMYT’s new Global Wheat Program (GWP) Director, Alison Bentley. Listen and watch as she tells her story, from her first lightbulb moment on a high school field trip, to a leadership position in the wheat research world.

In celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, CIMMYT is participating in a unique marathon event, carrying a global conversation with CGIAR women scientists that are leading change and creating solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges.

Powered by Women in Research and Science (WIRES), a new employee-led resource group at CGIAR, the event will showcase the many ways women scientists are transforming the way we look at our food, land and water systems around the world. In addition to learning about cutting-edge science, you’ll be able to engage with inspiring speakers in 13 different countries.

Join CIMMYT’s discussion on February 11, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. CST, and learn about the journeys of the 2020 Bänziger Award recipients, an engaging Q&A with four CIMMYT scientists, and our vision for a more equitable workforce. Register for the event.


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International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
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International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
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