March 8 is International Women’s Day; a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. At Let’s Talk Science, we believe it’s essential to connect youth with female role models working in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Results from the 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report continued to show that teenage girls underestimate their own abilities in STEM careers traditionally dominated by men. Canadian boys are still 10 times more likely than girls to aspire toward information and communications technology (ICT) jobs. Although the PISA report indicated that more girls aspire to STEM careers than boys, once in post-secondary, girls are more likely to choose life sciences over engineering. Connecting youth with inspiring female role models shows them that rewarding jobs are attainable in all fields, regardless of gender.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Let’s Talk Science is highlighting some of the many inspirational women in STEM fields.
During the 2017-2018 school year, Canada 2067, a national initiative presented by Let’s Talk Science, is engaging and connecting youth to female role models in a variety of STEM careers. At five youth summits organized across Canada, youth are exposed to industry leaders through STEM Talks.
Dr. Mona Nemer, the Chief Science Advisor for the Government of Canada and Dr. Kona Williams, Forensic Pathologist and Coroner for the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service are two of the many STEM panelists who spoke at the Canada 2067 Youth Summits in Montreal and Toronto respectively. Students in attendance and participating online were able to ask Dr. Nemer and Dr. Williams questions about their unique STEM careers. Listen to their Canada 2067 STEM Talks.
The majority of the 4,000 volunteers and staff at Let’s Talk Science are women in STEM. One who has held both titles is Melissa Mathers. Currently a Project Coordinator for Let’s Talk Science, Mathers has a Masters of Science in Physics and Astronomy. As a student volunteering with Let’s Talk Science, she split her time writing for Let’s Talk Science’s web-based program, CurioCity and as an Outreach Coordinator for the Let’s Talk Science Outreach site at York University. She has also studied antimatter and its interaction with gravity at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research – a fantastic learning experience.
“Choosing to study a STEM subject has offered me virtually unlimited career possibilities, and I would do it again in a heartbeat!”
Linda Jewell has been inspiring youth for over a decade through her work with Let’s Talk Science’s Outreach and CurioCity programs. With degrees in biopharmaceutical sciences and medicinal chemistry, Linda has experience in a wide variety of STEM fields including agricultural research as well as investigating the role of a particular group of receptors in zebrafish.
“When I was a kid, I had no idea what I wanted to do as an adult. I wish that I would have had more exposure to what a career in science could be, because I had no idea about the wide variety of jobs that use science every day.”
All youth benefit from access to female role models. To accelerate gender parity, Let’s Talk Science is increasing exposure to women in STEM fields through our resources and work. Explore the Featured Volunteers section of our website to read more about our incredible volunteers!
Learn more about our programs and why we’re passionate about STEM at http://www.letstalkscience.ca/.