By Edna Porca (YES 2018-2019, Bosnia and Herzegovina, placed with AYA in Unity, OR)
The fight for women’s rights has led to many positive changes for women across the globe. And there is much more to do! Women advocating for other women is essential in professional environments, especially in the industries that remain male-dominated, such as science. The Alumni Coordinator for the YES alumni community in Bosnia and Herzegovina organized a lecture for 16 local girls in celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science to celebrate the holiday and get girls thinking about careers in science.
The lecture was given by Azra Uzunovic, a Professor in the Pharmaceutical Department of the University of Sarajevo. Azra encouraged and motivated the girls in attendance to pursue degrees and careers in science. She shared her experiences of studying science and her path from a young girl interested in science to a woman who has a master’s degree in pharmacology and is working in the field. The girls asked Azra about the decisions that she made throughout her career path and what steps they should take to succeed. The discussion also focused on the challenges Azra faced working in a male-dominated discipline and how she overcame them.
Participants shared that they left the training equipped with tools to follow their passions in science and the motivation to learn more. One of the most important lessons they took away from the event was that they are capable of doing anything they set their minds to and that it is never too late to start learning new things. In the end, choice is the most important thing that a person can have.