BPW Estonia has chosen microbiologist and virologist Irja Lutsar as Estonia's Woman of the Year 2020. Founder of the CareMate platform Marion Teder was elected young female entrepreneur of the year.
Irja Lutsar is a professor of medical microbiology and virology at the University of Tartu and heads the government's COVID-19 scientific advisory council.
Lutsar said that the year has been very difficult. "Perhaps we need the pragmaticism and clear head of women more than ever in society today. Women are survivors. They do not act based on emotion but rather look at what is sustainable and what is not and help where help is needed most, not necessarily where it is most gainful," she said.
Lutsar considers inspiring young people a matter of the heart. "Nothing needs to be given up in order to succeed as a woman," she said, suggesting that a career and home life are mutually complementary in the modern world. Lutsar also urged people to value the contribution of men in it.
The CareMate platform offers home and personal care services to people of all ages. Marion Teder described it as a great honor and joy that her efforts have been noted.
"I have seen as a woman how many challenges women are expected to rise to – taking care of the sick, the weak and those who need help. I have experienced it myself and wished to make things easier on women, revolutionize welfare services," she said.
BPW Estonia (Business and Professional Women Organization, Estonia) urged organizations, companies and individuals to nominate candidates for the contest. The board of the network chose three candidates based on the applications: Tatjana Babanskaja (principal of the Narva Orthodox High School, member of the board of NGO Narva Orthodox High School), Aveliina Helm (biologist and nature conservationist, senior research fellow at the Institute of Ecology and Geography of the University of Tartu, chairman of the board of the Estonian Fund for Nature) and Irja Lutsar.
Editor: Marcus Turovski