CERN Appoints First Female Director-General Fabiola for Second Straight Term

Inspiring the next generation of women physicists and innovators

“Women, on the other hand, had to wield their intellects like a scythe, hacking away against the stubborn underbrush of low expectations. (But) She always kept up the questioning until she received a satisfactory answer.”


This is one of the most iconic dialogues from Hidden Figures, a film based on the untold true story of three women who were the brains behind one of the greatest operations in human history - of sending the first man in space.


Joining the ranks of the greatest women in science and research is Fabiola Gianotti, who has been appointed as the first female Director-General in the European Council of Space Research, or Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléairein in French (CERN), for the second straight term.


At its 195th Session recently in Geneva, the CERN Council selected Fabiola Gianotti, as the Organization’s next Director-General, for her second term of office. The appointment will be formalised at the December Session of the Council, and Gianotti’s new five-year term of office will begin on January 1, 2021.


This is the first time in CERN’s history that a Director-General has been appointed for a full second term.


Even today, not many women are encouraged to take up academic disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, together called STEM. These fields are generally considered to be the domains of men, especially the higher positions. It is leaders like Fabiola Gianotti, who are an inspiration to women, especially young girls. So ladies, no matter what the circumstances, work hard and shatter the so-called glass ceiling.