Women have been integral to the evolution of MRRI from its inception, from co-founder, visionary, and scientist Myrna Schwartz, PhD, to the present day, where eleven of sixteen senior scientific staff and affiliates and two thirds of the entire Institute are women. Their positions span the spectrum of roles at MRRI, including critical daily research activities, senior leadership, administrative support, and scientist training. Our women scientists conduct theoretical, practical, prospective, and retrospective studies to advance our mission.
Having grown up in a family of progressive women in the arts and medicine and graduated from Edith Cowan University, the only Australian University named after a woman, the breadth and impact of women at MRRI is a source of pride for me. The women at MRRI make important contributions not only through brilliant thinking, efficiency, and attention to detail, but more broadly in the adaptability and interpersonal relationships that make our Institute a dynamic and collaborative environment.
During Women’s History Month and beyond, we should pause to consider the imbalance of opportunities and the challenges faced by women historically and in the present. It is important to appreciate women’s scientific, cultural, political, economic, and social achievements to date, and to recognize those who are presently blazing trails for future women.
While gender equality is improving, we should all be attentive to ensuring that women receive the opportunities in science that are experienced by men. This includes outcomes in grant and manuscript submissions that are equivalent across gender, and equal proportions of women invited as conference speakers, prestigious scientific board members, and leaders in professional organizations. I encourage you to visit mrri.org/who-we-are to learn more about the history, current innovations, and significant scientific progress being made by the women at our Institute.
Dylan J. Edwards, PhD