Photo Essay: Women in Meteorology

Given that women are significantly underrepresented in meteorology and related professions – especially at top levels – WMO is working towards eliminating barriers to entry and retention of women in scientific careers, attracting more girls into studying science and increasing their numbers in WMO governance and management.

“Investments made in women and girls are great multipliers of development progress,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, who recently joined the ranks of the Geneva Gender Champions with a commitment to promote a gender-sensitive culture in WMO and to strive for gender parity. “In a world of diminishing resources, we must use human capital wisely and strategically. We must take full advantage of the capacity of both women and men to advance our objectives,“ he said.

WMO continues to promote the production of gender sensitive weather and climate services. Among other activities, its field school for farmers specifically reaches out to women in agriculture, while its guidance on gender-sensitive flood management reflects the unique needs and strengths of women as well as men.

“Women are more affected by disasters although they are more risk averse than men, so we need gender-sensitive weather and climate services,” noted WMO Assistant Secretary-General Elena Manaenkova, who was recently selected by the Geneva Environment Network as an “inspirational” woman. “The strength of women as champions to help communities adapt to climate change and be more resilient to disasters is undervalued,” said Ms Manaenkova. “This needs to change.”

As part of its activities for International Women’s Day, WMO compiled an extensive Women in Action album with dozens of photos illustrating the remarkable work done by women at National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, often performed in remote areas and in challenging conditions.


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Louise Carroll (weather observer) releases a weather balloon on Macquarie Island research station in the sub-Antarctic. 

Claudia Riedl changing measurement equipment in the drill holes of the permafrost project Sonnblick observatory, Austria. (ZAMG) Anais Orsi, a snow and ice scientist is doing some measurements during a sea-ice station in the drifting Arctic. The project, called N-ICE2015 was organized by the Norwegian Polar Institute. It hosted five main research teams: ocean, atmosphere, ice, snow and biology to investigate “The Arctic in a changing climate”.
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Antonella Senese, a post-doc scientist at the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Milan (UNIMI), Italy, replaces a wind sensor on the Presena Glacier (Italian Alps). 

A meteorologist from Zimbabwe’s Meteorological Service taking part in a cloud seeding operation.

Diana Vladimirova, engineer, Climate Change and Environment Laboratory, Geography Department, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute; laureate of the Young Scientists Award of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2015.

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Air quality sampling at the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics

Amelia Corrigan, MSC student, 
University of Alberta, samples sediment particle sizes of the Crowsnest river, in the Canadian Rockies, using a Laser In-Situ Scattering and Transmissometry.

Biologist Mar Fernandez-Mendez is ready to deploy an experiment under the sea ice during the Norwegian N-ICE2015 expedition in the Arctic in 2015
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AEROMET Engineers at the meteorological enclosure at Lagos airport, Nigeria (NIMET)

Tatyana Strelkova in action at a meteorological station 2 300m above sea level during the Sochi 2015 Winter Olympics

A meteorologist observes the state of the atmosphere at a synoptic station in Bulawayo the second largest city in Zimbabwe, NIMET

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Elizabeth Lewis, a hydrometric technologist from the Meteorological Service of Canada, servicing a Water Survey gauge on the Ruggles River at the outlet of Lake Hazen on Ellesmere Island in June 2015

Ms. Sigourney Joyette engages in a practical infiltration exercise at the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology & Hydrology

Fram Strait Arctic expedition (Roshydromet)

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Helen Phillips deploying turbulence instruments into the ocean during a storm – SOFINE Expedition

Dr. Kathrin Höppner, an Air Chemist at the German Research Station “Neumayer III”, Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, as part of the 2012 winter crew.

US National Weather Service Incident Meteorologist Pam Szatanek on a helicopter going to a fire site


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