'I've been the only woman in the room': Top female scientists inspire next generation
KITCHENER -- Thursday marked International Day of Women and Girls in Science and it was a day for inspiration and education for girls interested in STEM.
The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo held a live virtual Q&A with some of Canada’s top scientific minds.
“I work NASA’s space launch system, which is the largest most powerful rocket created in history that is going to send people to Mars," said Tiera Fletcher, an aerospace engineer.
Four leading scientists in biology, physics, and engineering gave advice about what it’s like to be a woman in STEM.
"You don't know how many meetings I’ve been in when I’ve been the only woman in the room,” said particle physicist Asimina Arvanitaki.
"Why did I do it? Because I ignored all this. It's important to remember as always we do this because we like it.”
Students from across Canada and the United States tuned in to ask questions and take notes from the people who have reached the top of their field.
"Do not abandon something just because a fear of failure,” said Arvanitaki.
"Make sure that you’re following your passion. When you are following your passion, the results are amazing,” added Fletcher.
For the students hearing directly from these trail-blazers is learning you can't do in a class room.
“The way they spoke about it with so much passion and they made these huge mountains, huge obstacles so manageable, and I feel like I am ready to go to university tomorrow,” said student Jasleen Jain.
A reoccurring theme throughout the session was not letting being the only woman in the room, or the only person who looks different, stand in the way of passion.
"Do not let lack of confidence, do not let fear, distract you from trying something. You should try and fail that’s fine,” said Arvanitaki.
The full one-hour live Q&A session can be viewed online here.