What does a scientist look like?

Women in lab

Increasing diversity in the STEM (science, tech, engineering, math) fields is urgent because of the implications for the Canadian economy (read: all of us and our collective future), according to a recent report from Ryerson University.  It warns that the ‘old boys club’ of like-minded problem solvers which are the current status quo, could hamper Canada’s ability to prosper, innovate and compete globally. It’s a big deal.

Ryerson’s Dean of Science calls out what she describes as a “bro culture” for keeping women away from STEM and for, perhaps, limiting women once they’re in. This culture feeds on stereotypes. Things as simple as a preconceived notion about what, for example, a scientist looks like.

Ana Sofia Barrows knows about this issue firsthand. She has a degree in medical physics, and she’s been harassed by strangers online for not ‘looking’ or ‘acting’ like a scientist. What does that even mean? You can read my CBC article for the full story on the importance of fighting gender stereotypes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s