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Andrea Guzman Mesa



University of Bern
I am PhD candidate in Astrophysics studying the atmospheres of the planets outside of the Solar System. Originally a mathematician from Colombia, I have made diversity, equity and inclusion of women and minorities in STEAM fields one of the main drivers in my career to present as I have been immersed in male dominated fields throughout my life. I am a woman who builds because through my work and my example I have been able to empower girls and women in Colombia and Latin America to follow a scientific career. I truly believe that we do not become what we do not see and therefore providing role models to the new generations who look like us and come from socio-economic backgrounds similar to us is vital to increase the participation of women in STEAM.
For the International Day of Girls and Women in Science earlier this year I led an unprecedented campaign in social media with the Twitter hashtag #spamdecientíficas (Spam of female Scientists) which became Trending topic #1 in Colombia for three days in a row. This TT led for the first time a massive talk around the topics of diversity and gender equity in the context of science to all actors of society in Colombia and part of Latin America. This spam was showcased in Forbes and had its own opinion piece in one of the most prestigious newspapers in the country. But besides the visibility we found a platform for the first time to advocate for structural changes to increase representation of women in leaderships roles in science in Colombia.

I am also the co-founder and co-leader of the first Network of Colombian women doing research in space-related fields CHIA which has boosted the visibility of our researchers, has strengthen their own personal and professional networks of colleagues and has provided with real science role models of female astronomers to girls, young women and society in the country. One of the initiatives I led on behalf on CHIA I am particularly proud was a successful crowdfunding on Twitter, where we raised more than 11M Colombian pesos (3K Euros) in less than 4 hours to fund the participation of the only girl in the group that represented Colombia in the International Astronomy Olympiads in Europe.

This has been my way to empower more girls and women in Science using the power of socia media.