International Day of Women and Girls in Science

We are featuring women researchers making transformational impacts in women’s health and beyond.

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February 11 is International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a day to highlight the achievements of women in STEM and recognize the gender gap that still exists in this field. To recognize this day, we are featuring women researchers making transformational impacts in women’s health and beyond.

Worldwide, only 30% of researchers are women. In our recent report, The Research Divide, we found glaring gaps in funding and academia for women researchers and women’s health research.

This funding research gap for women in comparison to men is equivalent to $103,275 per grant in British Columbia alone. We also found that women academics have lower salaries, receive less institutional funding opportunities, and are underrepresented in senior positions.

Dr. Liisa Galea, author of The Research Divide, UBC Professor of Psychology, and a Scientific Advisor at Women’s Health Research Institute, reacted to the findings.

“It’s hard enough to get a federal research grant as success levels are at 15%, but to see that the funding levels were less per year for women researchers compared to male researchers was well… soul crushing. Once again it feels as though we need to do more with less.” 

Dr. Galea’s goal is to improve brain health for women with depression and Alzheimer’s Disease. Questions driving her research include “Why are women more likely to get Alzheimer’s Disease?” and “Why are women more at risk for depression?” Sex differences exist in many brain diseases, but research explaining sex as a factor in brain health has been scarce. Dr. Galea’s research helps fill this gap.

Read about other researchers we are featuring this month:

  • Dr. Angela Kaida , currently researching the impacts of COVID-19 based on age, sex, and gender through the COVID-19 RESPPONSE study
  • Dr. Roopan Gill, a researcher focusing on sexual and reproductive healthcare including comprehensive abortion care and family planning
  • Dr. Jessica Liauw, recipient of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship
  • Ismalia De Sousa, a Ph.D student at the UBC School of Nursing and a recipient of one of the BC Women’s Health Foundation’s Graduate Student awards

The Women’s Health Research Fund provides support for critical research in women’s health, including Catalyst Grants, and Graduate Student Awards to directly support the work of women researchers and women’s health research.

“Research simply saves lives. Many of us are studying pieces of the puzzle that we hope one day will lead to improvements in disease treatment and cures.” says Dr. Galea.

You can double your impact this February and give researchers like Dr. Galea the support they deserve to study the unique health needs of women. From now until February 28, your gifts to the Women’s Health Research Fund will be matched by the Auxiliary to BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, up to $27,500. This could mean two fully-funded Catalyst Grant awards to kick-start the research process and support the next generation of women’s health researchers in the province.

BC Women’s Health Foundation is BC’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the full spectrum of women’s health. The information shared is intended to educate, inform, and point readers to credible sources. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice.