Staff Spotlight – Women in STEM

In the calendar each year, the 11th of February marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. In recent years in schools across Queensland, there has been a push to challenge and extend students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) learning. Globally, there has been an imbalance between gender and Science – an imbalance that the United Nations (UN) has set to rectify in the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. According to the UN, the day is about “recognising the role of women and girls in science, not only as beneficiaries, but also as agents of change.” 

When young women consider Science careers, they can get caught imagining stereotypical ‘scientist’ roles involving lab coats and test tubes. They may not yet be exposed to the range of opportunities and career paths available to them – like Ecology. Ecologists study the interactions of living things and their environment, now and in the future. In our current societal and environmental climate, Ecology is a deeply important and rewarding profession to understanding our world. For the women in our ecology team, the rewards speak for themselves: 


“Science, I suppose, is about learning and I love learning. It’s about figuring out what your question is and figuring out a way you can answer that question, going to collect the data and analysing that data and finding the answer to your question. I think that process is just so exciting.” 


“I love knowing or understanding why something is doing what it’s doing. There has to be an explanation for it so if something is not going well working out what that is. Through Science I feel like we can pinpoint those answers.”