Proud to be an international woman in a male-oriented field

By Sara Z. Kutchesfahani

I started my nuclear non-proliferation career in 2004, and over the years, I have worked at think tanks (in London, Paris, and now DC), at a nuclear weapons lab, and at a university. Throughout the years, I never had a female boss  — always men — but I am happy to report that ship has now sailed. At the Center, my direct supervisor is Alex Bell — a real nuclear trailblazer and a fabulous mentor.

Over the four years I was a professor, it was very encouraging to see that the majority of my students were female. And, I taught grad classes specifically on nuclear weapons proliferation. In the same vein, it is inspiring that at the Center alone, our previous Scoville fellow was a brilliant young woman (Bernadette Stadler) and our current Scoville fellow (Luisa Kenausis) is an equally impressive young woman. Further, our Program Assistant (Erin Connolly) is one to watch because she, like many other young women, is a rising star in the field.

In honor of International Women’s Day, I feel more inspired than ever to speak out. As an international woman working in a traditionally male-oriented field, I am encouraged, inspired, and proud to be one of many women from all over the world who are working towards making the world a safer place. We do this through activism, education, outreach and advocacy. Personally, I take a leaf out of French feminist icon and philosopher Simone de Beauvoir’s books with the thinking that “to write was to act in the world,” and no matter whether that writing is a tweet, a blog, an article, or a textbook, our #TimeIsNow. #InternationalWomensDay