Maunakea Observatories celebrate International Women’s Day

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The women scientists, engineers and administrators of Maunakea Observatories gathered at the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center yesterday to celebrate their progress and success in what is a traditionally male-dominated field, ahead of International Women's Day, which recognizes the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women, on March 8. Hawaii has an unprecedented reason to celebrate International Women's Day: there are more women astronomers in Hawai'i than anywhere else in the world.

"For too long, women have been written out of history. It is our kuleana to act and speak in this spirit of love, compassion, and true respect for all as we work to protect women's rights and grow opportunities for our sisters here on Hawai?i Island, and across our state and country," said U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard who shared her support for the women of Maunakea event. "I look forward to continuing to work alongside you to build a better future together."

"The future of Maunakea should be held in the hands of the young people of these islands, and I want at least half of those future leaders driving the cultural, scientific, spiritual and environmental preservation of this special place to be women," said Jessica Dempsey, deputy director of the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope of the East Asian Observatory. "As we press for progress in gender equity and equal treatment of women in the workplace, it is time to enhance and grow the community of support for our female workers."

The summit of Mauna Kea on Hawai'i Island hosts the world's largest astronomical observatory with telescopes operated by astronomers from eleven countries. As the most scientifically productive collection of telescopes in the world, the Maunakea Observatories provides incredible career opportunities for women and men who work in the field of science and technology, a vital driver of economic development in Hawai'i.

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