Women and girls encouraged to pursue careers in science and technology
SUDBURY -- The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is celebrated on Feb. 11, and for the second year in a row, dozens of students gathered at Laurentian University in Sudbury to hear from women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
Organizers say the purpose of this event is to not only encourage young girls to envision themselves in a role of a scientist or in the trades, but also for boys to begin to see girls as their colleagues, now and in the future.
"'A lot of how we perceive what we can do is based on the other ways people see us or treat us. You hear people speak about professions, and when it’s a scientist or a pilot or a miner, it’s 'he, he, he.' When it’s a secretary or a nurse it’s 'she, she, she,'"' said Sandra Dorman, with the Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health and one of the organizers of the event.
Not only did students get to take part in a variety of hands-on science demonstrations, they also heard from women who work in the field, like Laura Brown.
"Part of my research here is in mining, so the earthquakes that we generate from mining. So, talking to them about how a geophone works, why it’s important, how we’re monitoring the Sudbury basin. The earlier you can pique their interest in science and engineering, the more likely they are to gear their education towards that and maybe pursue future careers in the field," said Brown, a professor in mining and engineering at Laurentian University.
Dreaming of a career in medicine
One grade six student says she’s been looking forward to this event because she wants to study medicine when she grows up, and she says for her, it’s personal.
"I have eczema, so I really want to be a doctor to help people and for there to be more cures for people who have skin problems and health problems,” said Lilah Selby.
Dorman adds she hopes in the future, more women will occupy positions in all science and technology fields, but she would also like to see them achieve equality in leadership positions.