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Venezuelan women contributing to the advancement of science and technology from Colombia

11 February 2021

Venezuelan women contributing to the advancement of science and technology from Colombia

To celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science and to acknowledge the great work that migrant women perform in scientific areas, iDiaspora presents the story of two Venezuelan professionals living in Colombia.

Virginia Paredes is a mechanical engineer. During her doctoral studies in Biomedical Engineering she had the opportunity to move to Barcelona. Today, she lives in Barranquilla, where she studies new orthopedic biomaterials. The conditions of the place where she lives have allowed her to expand her field of action and carry out studies on the development of biodegradable materials from natural materials. She is currently collaborating with a group of fellows, experts in corrosion, to investigate how to mitigate this problem on metallic or ceramic surfaces. According to Dr. Paredes: "The key is to adapt to changes and always seek within ourselves how to contribute to the environment in which we live."

As a result of the pandemic, Virginia decided to get involved in several projects to develop medical equipment and to improve hospital capacity in Colombia. She is aware that as a professional and migrant woman she has faced multiple obstacles, but she is grateful for the experiences that have allowed her to empower herself: “I owe my strength to the country and the family that educated me. Being away from home is a challenge for us, but it is up to us to decide how we face it.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Bexaida Navarro is a surgeon, specialist in general surgery and mastology, living in Colombia since 2016. In her career, she has faced different challenges, but she has managed to adapt efficiently and resiliently: “The main challenge for the future of women in Medicine is to continue encompassing these leadership spaces within our different areas of specialization. This in order to provide innovative ideas that allow the advancement and development of the different branches of Medicine, as well as expanding the scope of medical and health services to the most vulnerable populations.”

There is no doubt that there are gender gaps in science and technology. However, there are migrant women who fight to reduce this inequality, and we take this day to recognize their contributions to society.