Career

For the first time in 55 years a woman has won the Nobel Prize in Physics

Congratulations to Canadian scientist Dr Donna Strickland!

Today is a great day for women in science because for the first time in 55 years a woman has won the Nobel Prize for Physics.

Canadian scientist Dr Donna Strickland has achieved this honour and officially become one of only three women in the history of the prestigious prize to win it. Before her were female scientists Marie Curie and Maria Goeppert-Mayer.

Dr Strickland was recognised for her discoveries and accomplishments in the field of laser physics. She shares this year's prize with two other scientists, Gerard Mourou of France and Arthur Ashkin from the United States.

Interestingly, Dr. Strickland told the BBC that she has always been treated as an equal in her career and was surprised it had been so long since a woman had won the award.

This year we celebrate 125 years since women in New Zealand were given the right to vote but women continue to fight for equal pay and are under-represented in business leadership roles and in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths.

Girlboss NZ founder Alexia Hilbertidou tours NZ schools to encourage more young women into business leadership and the fields of science, engineering, technology and maths.
Girlboss NZ founder Alexia Hilbertidou tours NZ schools to encourage more young women into business leadership and the fields of science, engineering, technology and maths.

Inspirational Girlboss NZ founder Alexia Hilbertidou has taken up the gauntlet to encourage more young women into these male-dominated fields.

Alexia created GirlBoss NZ at the age of just 16 while still in high school and says it was born from the realisation that she was the only girl in her IT and Applied Physics classes.

"I was so confused because my female friends were so intelligent and capable and weren't having the confidence or awareness to go in these fields.

Alexia travels the country visiting classrooms to educate and inspire young girls to take up the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects, leadership and entrepreneurship.

"In New Zealand we've got more CEOs named John than CEOs who are women. And the young women who I am working with are going to go change those statistics," she told the Queen when she travelled to England in June to receive a Queen's Young Leaders Award.