Girlsday: a glimpse into the Syngenta Flowers lab


A group of 25 girls from Martinus College secondary school in Grootebroek, the Netherlands visited the Syngenta Flowers lab on Thursday 11 April. At the Syngenta location in Enkhuizen, the girls experienced the world of phytopathology and cell biology up close. It was Girlsday, an international day where girls between 10 and 15 years old get acquainted with science, technology and IT.

Just like Syngenta Seeds in Enkhuizen, many more companies in the Netherlands welcomed young girls with an interest in technology on 11 April. The intention of Girlsday is for the girls to see how many exciting career opportunities there are in the beta, technology and IT sectors.

"At Syngenta, we believe it is important to show students what we are doing as a company, because in this way we can help students on choosing a further education or career path," says Tessa Compas, HR Business Partner at Syngenta. “This special initiative is great to inspire more girls to choose for our company. That is why we have also shown what various jobs ‘our women’ perform. "

The girls were introduced to Syngenta Flowers' Phytopathologist Nevena Radmanovic, who consciously chose her profession. "I wanted to discover the plant world and work in it, I thought a doctor for plants would be a nice profession." Nevena showed the girls how to view different diseases and pests under a microscope. “I find the interaction between the plant and pests very interesting to see and follow. My work is very varied and challenging, I tried to tell the girls all about that. ”

After that, cell biologist Ellen Rietveld welcomed the girls - the girls got a closer look at a tissue culture plant and learned how to move it into a sterile medium. They got to keep the cuttings and got the challenge to make a plant out of it at home.

It remains to be seen whether the girls actually choose Syngenta. "About eight percent of the girls I have welcomed have an interest in resistance breeding and phytopathology," says Nevena. "I also heard from colleagues that the girls really liked to do something themselves, for example cutting into plants, they especially like to see how something moves under the microscope."

Open for student visits
Syngenta Flowers likes to show students the challenges and enjoyment of working in the horticultural sector, schools are welcome to visit the Syngenta locations. For more information, please contact Patricia Zwaan (patricia.zwaan(a) or Arjen Mol (arjen.mol(a)