In Canada, women make up less than 25% of people employed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (aka STEM) fields. It’s not a new statistic, but it’s one that needs the spotlight as the work to change it continues. And there is a lot of good work happening to see that it does – from government initiatives, to efforts to make educational opportunities more accessible, and even commercial and industrial programming. Continued responsible economic progress relies on a strong STEM workforce to take on some of the world’s most important challenges. One commonly recognized influence in engaging women in science and related fields is ensuring they see women just like themselves in these roles. In the latest episode of CNL’s podcast series Free of Charge, host Larkin Mosscrop helps mark International Day of Women and Girls in Science alongside an amazing group of women in science – sharing their journeys and the advice they have for young women.
“It’s so important we engage girls and inspire young women so they can feel confident to pursue a career path in science when they clearly have a passion for it,” says Mosscrop. “We know when teachers bring women into the classroom to support STEM education, it has a profound impact. Many of our female scientists and researchers have served as role models in community schools for many years. We felt bringing strong female voices together on the podcast is another way young women can be inspired – to know that others share their passion for science and what helped them pursue their ambition.”
In the special episode of the podcast, Larkin sits down with CNL’s Gina Strati, Ashlea Colton, Emily Saurette and Brittany Rabak and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s (AECL) Farrah Norton. At different stages in their careers and with diverse scientific backgrounds – from chemistry and computer science to genetics and chemical engineering, the women talk about the influences in their lives that have led them to their current positions, the decisions they made, and what they’ve learned along the way.
“It was such a great experience to sit down with my friends and colleagues to share our stories, and I hope they help young women who love science and are pursuing their education in science,” adds Mosscrop. “Because although women have made tremendous progress towards increasing their participation in higher education, they remain underrepresented in STEM fields.”
To listen to the special episode, visit: www.cnl.ca/podcasts
Director, Academic Partnership, CNL
Manager, Computational Techniques Branch, CNL
New Grad, Mechanical Engineer, CNL
Farrah Norton (Genetics & Health)
Program Manager, Science & Technology, AECL
The International day of Women and Girls in Science is observed every year on February 11. Proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly as resolution 70/212 on December 22, 2015, the annual commemoration serves to celebrate the participation of women and girls in science and also promote full and equal access to these opportunities.