Portraits / Key personalities

[Portraits] Women of science in the Inria centre at the University of Lille

Changed on 14/02/2023
On the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, meet 5 scientists from the Inria centre at the University of Lille. Researchers, doctoral students, post-docs, engineers: they all have a scientific background and talk about their experience as women in science.

What is it like to be a "woman of science" for you?

Tifaout Almeftah, PhD student in optimisation

"Personally, all the people I have met in school, university and my family have always supported me. However, I feel that society does not sufficiently encourage women to explore science and technology. As a woman in a traditionally male field, I see the need to promote diversity and inclusion in science. I strongly believe that promoting the participation of women in science is essential to achieve better gender representation and a brighter future. It is crucial that we do not deprive ourselves of the talent of women and the innovation they are capable of demonstrating."

Tifaout Almeftah expliquant le group testing

Anne Etien, researcher in software engineering

 "Being a researcher means confronting ideas, discovering new things, dreaming, training young people."

portrait de chercheuse
© Inria / Photo C. Morel


Alena Shilova, post-doc in artificial intelligence

"For me the research is like an adventure: it is scary at first, but by little steps you manage to approach the goal."

Alena Shilova travaillant à son bureau


Sophie Dabo, researcher in data science

"Science is a particularly exciting field of action and analysis that is moving the world forward. This progress cannot be without half of humanity: young girls, don't let anyone stop you from expressing your talents, from pursuing your dreams to shine in the scientific fields."

Sophie Dabo travaillant à son bureau


Eulalie Coevoet, engineer in soft robotics

"For me, being an engineer is about solving new problems. It means using science to invent and develop new technologies. And despite what we are led to believe, it is accessible to everyone. It does take work, but so does everything. And what's more, it's challenging and rewarding work."

Marionnette automatique de poulpe
© Inria / Photo C. Morel


Iovka Boneva, researcher in data science

"For me, being a researcher means being able to follow my curiosity, to rack my brains on difficult and inspiring problems, to collaborate with even more inspiring people, to be able to adapt my activity to make it meaningful, to be free to go to work without make-up and wearing comfortable clothes because I know that in my lab I won't be judged by my appearance."

Iovka Boneva dans son bureau
© Inria / Photo Raphaël de Bengy


Their advice

"Science has no gender! Many women are successful in these fields. In computer science, we owe a lot to many women. We are not all revolutionising science like Marie Curie or Ada Lovelace, but each of us, in our own way, and no less than a man, can make science progress. Don't hesitate, science is also for you!" Anne Etien
"Science is not about gender. It's about passion and the right conditions for young girls. If there is a lack of female role models around you, be that role model, then there will be one more." Tifaout Almeftah
"I think the hardest thing for a girl to do in a scientific career is to consider it. Dare to dream about it, and the rest will come as with any other profession, thanks to the work and energy you will put into it." Iovka Boneva