The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is celebrated each year on 11 February. For me, this is a day to celebrate all of the amazing women in science and science communication who are at the forefront of creating positive change for our planet.
This year the theme is Beyond the Borders: Equality in Science for Society, with a focus on the value of the social aspects and cultural dimensions in science, technology and innovation to enhance sustainable development programs.
I studied environmental science at Griffith University at a time when only a handful of Australian universities were offering this type of degree. I never found the subjects like chemistry and physics easy. My mind always was, and still is, at the intersection where people and the environment meet. The interplay between these two elements which, in many ways, are one in the same. I loved the lectures on the industrial revolution, environmental economics, social policy and development, and education. This was all in my science degree. And it has opened up a world of opportunity for me.
Today, I find myself working in the space between science and storytelling. The place where scientists and creatives meet is exciting and it is bold.
I love the challenge of communicating science to inspire people and to educate the next generation. While being in the business of writing about the environment and sustainability can at times be frustrating, for the most part, it is a great privilege.
I know, full well, that I am one of the lucky ones. Globally, a gender gap persists at all levels of science and STEM disciplines all over the world. Even though women have made tremendous progress towards increasing participation in higher education, they are still under-represented in these fields.
Over the past 15 years, the global community has made a lot of effort to inspire and engage women and girls in science. Yet, for many different reasons, women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science.
It’s time to change that.