(Or Our Voices Matter)
We must tell girls their voices are important.” – Malala Yousafzai
In the US, Women’s History Month is celebrated in March (and March 8 is International Women’s Day!). As March comes to the end, I thought I would share some of my recent experiences celebrating women in the sciences. On March 8 I attended the 2016 Wonder Women Networking Event at Telus World of Science. In addition to getting free pizza and watching a great IMAX presentation (Humpback Whales narrated by Ewan McGregor), I also chatted with some amazing female scientists. This event was sponsored and hosted by the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST). –PS See the latest header to check out my pic of BC Place from Science World
Later in the month, I attended a talk at UBC entitled “The Only Woman in the Room: Tales of a Female Ecologist”. Dr. Judith Myers, Professor Emerita in the UBC Zoology Department shared her career history and experiences as a female scientist.
During her talk, Dr. Myers related how she discovered her passion for ecology and conservation biology during early research positions. At one point, she planned to fulfill her dreams by marrying an ecologist and helping him in his research. However, she decided to pursue her interests though graduate work…in molecular biology. But this field wasn’t the right fir. She re-focused the research to include her ecology interests and hasn’t looked back. Throughout her career, Myers has examined tent caterpillar populations, invasive species, and biological control agents.
Similar pieces of advice from both events include:
- Do what you feel passionate about, but don’t worry about picking the perfect research/career fit. Just keep working!
- Life is full of surprises, many challenging and rewarding–enjoy the journey (Many researchers at the SCWIST event had major career changes and Myers later fulfilled her initial dream by marrying and collaborating with an ecologist!)
- It’s important to have a healthy work-life balance
- Support each other: speak up, ask for help when you need advice and be a mentor to others as well
Me, hiking this month near Lynn Canyon Suspension Park. Yay for work-life balance!
Thanks to KH, LH, SV, and SW
For more on Judith Myers see: http://www.zoology.ubc.ca/person/myers
For more on Humpback Whales see: http://humpbackwhalesfilm.com
For more on SCWIST: http://www.scwist.ca
For more on Science World: https://www.scienceworld.ca