BBC names 21 women in health, science & tech to its '100 Women 2016' list

BBC has selected the recipients for its "100 Women 2016" list. From artists to politicians, journalists to athletes, human rights activists to religious leaders, the women on the list are making big moves in the world today.

This year's list contains a plethora of women, including celebrities and lesser-known leaders.

Here are the 21 women working in health, science and technology on the list.


  • Dr. Ashwaq Muharram. Born in Yemen, Dr. Muharram stayed in her home country even when her family fled due to fighting. She used her car as a mobile clinic to treat patients in need. "I kept thinking, 'What if it were my children?'" she said.
  • Becci Wain. A 22-year-old healthcare assistant from the United Kingdom, Ms. Wain is a former self-harmer who now works with a skin camouflage practitioner to regain her self-assurance. "People look at my scars and think I'm weak," she said. "They show I'm a strong person — that I had problems but I've worked through them."
  • Carolina de Oliveira. "Make your surreal real. Speak your mind. Follow your instinct. Empty your inner pain. Fill that void again with love," said Ms. de Oliveira, a Syrian-born actor-turned-mental health activist. She began speaking out about mental health after she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
  • Cindy Meston, PhD. Dr. Meston serves as the director of the sexual psychophysiology laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin. "Many people still believe sex cannot be studied in a lab and such research is not worthy of funding — I disagree," she said.
  • Egge Kande. Born in Senegal, Ms. Kande is a leader in her community who works with teachers to teach young women about girls' education, teen pregnancy and child marriage. She's the mother of six children and eight grandchildren. "Now I can stand at the top of the roof and say what I think, without trembling, and without crying," she said.
  • Erin Sweeny. An Australian psychologist, Ms. Sweeny has spent more than two decades treating sex offenders in private practice and in prisons. "I believe that at some level, every person is redeemable," she said.
  • Judi Aubel. Social entrepreneur Ms. Aubel partners with communities in various countries, namely in Africa, to create cultural programs that inspire change. "Grandmothers are an abundant and underutilized resource for improving the lives of women and children," she said.
  • Luci Finch. "Palliative care is not about adding days to life, but adding life to the days that remain," said Ms. Finch, a Malawi-born palliative care nurse. She is the founder of the country's first and only hospice care center.
  • Omotade Alalade. Ms. Alalade is the founder of the BeiBei Haven Foundation, which strives to assist those who struggle with infertility. "Support and knowledge go a long way in helping women deal with infertility and baby loss," she said.
  • Um-Yehia. Forty-one-year-old, Syrian-born Um-Yehia originally worked as an accountant, but became a nurse to help citizens in Aleppo, Syria. "Being a nurse in a war zone is one of the best ways to help," she said.


  • Erin McKenney. "Teaching a girl that her voice deserves to be heard is the most valuable lesson she can ever be taught," said Ms. McKenney, an 18-year-old student in the United States. She launched a science program for young women to give them hands-on learning experience.
  • Evelyn Miralles. A computer engineer from Venezuela, Ms. Miralles now heads a team at NASA that's creating the virtual reality program for the mission to Mars. "I don't think being a woman and being Hispanic puts me at a disadvantage," she said. "It is more of a constant challenge."
  • Gouri Chindarkar. "Knowledge makes you more confident," said Ms. Chindarkar, a 20-year-old computer engineering student from India. She was one of the first in the country to use "School in the Cloud," a self-organized learning environment.
  • Katherine Johnson. A 98-year-old former research mathematician at NASA, Ms. Johnson played a vital role in calculating the trajectories of the U.S.' first moon landing and first space flights. "If you want to know, ask a question," she said. "There's no such thing as a dumb question. It's dumb if you don't ask it."
  • Lubna Tahtamouni. "Smart women are often labeled as unattractive, not feminine enough or even masculine," said Ms. Tahtamouni, a biology professor in Jordan. But she's flipping this stereotype around as she campaigns for females to pursue STEM careers.
  • Mercedes Doretti. Born in Argentina, Ms. Doretti is a forensic anthropologist. She founded a forensic team that investigated disappearances in her home country in the 1970s and 1980s. "Never underestimate the value of doing what you want in life. Sometimes it might be hard, but I am definitely convinced that it's worth it," she said.
  • Nay el-Rahi. A Lebanese journalist, Nay el-Rahi cofounded, a website that monitors harassment in Lebanon. "The point is to refuse that harassment be silenced or put on the backburner," she said of the site.
  • Ou Xiaobai. "My girlfriend and I want to help society understand us better, but being loud and aggressive might not be the best strategy," the 32-year-old from China said. Instead, she founded the iHomo app, which matches homosexual men and women with each other so they can appease friends and family members.
  • Saalumarada Thimmakka. This 105-year-old environmentalist began planting trees 80 years ago to combat the criticism she received for not being able to have children. Since then, Ms. Thimmakka has planted more than 8,000 trees in her home country of India. "Everyone from children to the elderly should plant and grow trees — it will be beneficial for all of us," she said.
  • Stephanie Harvey. "It's so much stronger to be inspired by someone you can relate to," said Ms. Harvey, a 30-year-old video game designer. "Whenever I see another woman succeed, I think, 'I can do it!'" Ms. Harvey is one of the most successful female gamers in the eSports industry, which involves electronic sports video game competitions.
  • Yasmine Mustafa. Ms. Mustafa, 34, serves as CEO of ROAR for Good, which creates self defense-enabled wearable jewelry technology. "I'm driven by the desire to leverage technology for social good," she said.

More articles on leadership and management:
Dr. Denton Cooley, surgeon to perform first US heart transplant, dies at 96
Dr. Ben Carson clarifies he is now open to Cabinet position
HCA North Texas re-brands as Medical City Healthcare: 4 things to know

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.


Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months