Celebrating Women Leaders in Human-Animal Studies on International Women’s Day 2024


8 March 2024 is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the achievements of women, raise awareness about discrimination, and take action to drive gender parity and inclusion.


We would like you to join us in celebrating all the inspirational female scholars, practitioners, and advocates who are leading the way in Human-Animal Interactions (HAI) and companion animal studies. 

Many prominent professional organisations and societies in Human-Animal Studies are led by women. This includes the Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS) Chairman, Dr. Elizabeth Ormerod. SCAS is proud to have many women on their board of trustees and leading the various working groups and activities. And our members and grantees are doing amazing work to help people and animals. We encourage you all to celebrate your own and each other’s achievements on International Women’s Day!

Please feel free to share stories of women role models in the comments, especially those who are dedicated to studying and/or advocating for the human-companion animal bond!

Raise Awareness

Despite the impressive representation of female scholars in Human-Animal Studies/Anthrozoology, including senior leadership positions, women are grossly under-represented in top positions in higher education institutions.

Globally, female students outnumber their male peers in the humanities, arts, social sciences, and medicine, but lower numbers of women persist in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Higher education institutions have differences in the gender composition of their academic hierarchies, with women under-represented in top positions. The percentage of women academics in senior university positions reaches only 36%, including full professors, deans, and university leadership roles.

Similarly, in the animal health field women have a 52% representation at the manager level but drop to a 36% representation at the senior management level. Female graduates are also less likely to be selected by recruiters within the veterinary industry than their male counterparts.

Take Action

Here are few a things we can all do to support women, equality, and inclusion, and work towards positive change for all.

  • Promote and celebrate the achievements of your female friends, family, colleagues, and peers!
  • Visibly acknowledge the contributions of your female peers, junior colleagues, and students.
  • Recognise and address institutional bias against female researchers and employees and advocate for change regarding policies or practices that disadvantage women.
  • Recognise that women from minority groups may face additional challenges and barriers.
  • Encourage all women to follow their dreams and offer mentorship to junior academics and aspiring professionals in your field.

Follow us on FB and Twitter (@SCASuk), and be sure to retweet posts from us and our partners on #PetsInHousing

SCAS is the UK’s leading human-companion animal bond organisation through funding research, providing education, raising awareness, encouraging best practice, and influencing the development of policies and practices that support the human-companion animal bond. For more details check out our website at www.scas.org.uk

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