Our women scientists inspire us

Show Side Panel
November 7, 2012 By: cip_admin

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we asked CIP scientists to reflect on being a woman researcher for agricultural development:

Women play a critical role in producing root and tuber crops. They are also the decision makers in families and communities regarding health and nutrition, and keepers of a wealth of knowledge surrounding crop production and benefits. (Versión en español aqui)

Dinah Borus is a CIP agronomist working as a value chain leader in Kenya

image_blogimage1. What inspires you about your work? Seeing a happier farmer inspires me. I want to improve someone’s life as I improve mine. I always want to see the African farmer – both the old and the young – doing agriculture as a business by employing contemporary technologies and best practices, and meeting all their basic needs from the farm. I wish to see an efficient agricultural sector, and in particular, a vibrant potato subsector. 2. Does being a woman give you a particular perspective? Yes. The majority of smallholder farmers in Africa are women, and I feel my presence inspires these women. I think women are patient and have the passion to make an impact. 3. What advice would you give to aspiring female scientists? Their contribution is needed to make a positive change in the world. Their innovativeness, rich knowledge, and skills can bring about the required paradigm shift.

Benny Ordoñez is a biologist in the Genetics and Crop Improvement program

image_blogimage1. What inspires you about your work? Contributing to the development of potato varieties that are resistant to different pests and diseases means that our work at CIP adds to the global effort to help low-income farmers – and this is very satisfying, knowing that we are helping improve the quality of life for many people. 2. Does being a woman give you a particular perspective? I think that one of the most interesting characteristics we bring as women is intuition, and this gives us a broader perspective (and applies to our research). 3. What advice would you give to aspiring female scientists? To add the component of innovation into their research and incorporate past experiences – this will help them have ambitious, but realistic goals.

Gabriela Burgos is a biologist and Head of CIP’s Quality and Nutrition laboratory

image_blogimage1. What inspires you about your work? It is very inspiring to know that our program’s objective is to reduce malnutrition among the world’s most vulnerable populations. 2. Does being a woman give you a particular perspective? The studies on malnutrition stress that the role of the woman is very important to reduce malnutrition and poverty levels. With this in mind, I always try to share the information from my work with other women, especially mothers who want the best for their children. 3. What advice would you give to aspiring female scientists? We should never limit our aspirations just because we are women. We should always work with enthusiasm, optimism and trust in our society. Also, we should always demonstrate that being a woman comes with a gift – motherhood and working efficiently.

Giovanna Muller is a plant virologist at CIP

image_blogimage1. What inspires you about your work? I am inspired by the mysticism of my work and the opportunity to make changes that can benefit people in need, especially children. However, one must be realistic and also strive to improve the lives of those close to you, not only as a professional, but as a person. 2. Does being a woman give you a particular perspective? I think it’s marvelous to be a woman! Though I don’t think that being a woman gives me a particular perspective – rather our genetic make-up and life’s lesson are what give me my unique perspective as an individual. 3. What advice would you give to aspiring female scientists? Always persevere with your ideals. Always strive to be better. Learn from the obstacles and mistakes, and never lose your values. This is what makes us successful – understanding that a successful person is someone who carries out their duties diligently and is happy on a daily basis.