Women in STEM -Stories that inspire
Since I enjoy writing and telling stories about oceans and sharks and stuff, I took the task to tell inspiring stories of #womeninSTEM fields. For now, I am completely biased towards marine biology, particularly ‘elasmobranchiologists’ since it’s my field, but I plan to expand.
I was recently at an international conference in Brazil (@SharksInt2018), and I’m happy to say that I saw a lot more young women at this conference than at the first one of its kind in 2010.
However, I noticed there was still a gap: there was only ONE senior female colleague sitting on the organization panel and very few senior women scientists around. I realized then that in my 15 ish years working in marine science and conservation, I have only worked with three senior women scientists! two of them after my PhD and only in the last four years. Where were my role models as I grew up, I wonder?
Every time I talk about this with any fellow women scientist, regardless of nationality or background, I feel encouraged and supported to continue. Their stories of challenges, achievements, and dreams, their concern about supporting other women, and their willingness make room to talk about their life, are a source of inspiration.
Note that I do not aim to go into the details of gender discrimination or many other issues relevant to this topic. Nor do I want to undervalue the work of our male colleagues. Instead, I want to highlight the bright side: Women can be kick-ass professionals at STEM fields too.
So, I want to highlight their work, tell their stories, and hopefully inspire other women to join and stay in these fields. I want every young woman I interact with to know that they are capable of achieving their dreams too, just as these stories tell.
So, here are some stories that I hope will, indeed, inspire..
A story of mantas
Celebrating Women in Science and Conservation
For Women’s International Day in 2017, I interviewed a fellow scientist and conservationist that works at a national park in the Mexican Caribbean (Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo).
‘Follow your dreams’ she said. ‘Because the Blue Earth is worth it…’
Here is her story..
Women working in science for the Galapagos Islands.
A joint effort between communication and science staff at the Charles Darwin Foundation aiming to encourage young girls to join the STEM careers and believe IT IS possible for them too. Note that I did not write this story! but instead, I was part of it as a scientist working at the Foundation. Story here.