Heritage Matters

Heritage Matters – Spring 2018

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/988313

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Page 41 of 43

Heritage Matters 40 Shining a light By Dr. Molly Shoichet When I was young, my mother strongly encouraged me to pursue a career. She knew that for her generation, even after graduating from university, there were few options for women, and they were mostly based on how fast you could type. Along with my father, she taught my brothers and me to explore, create and innovate, to pursue our dreams and to learn from our experiences. Canadian mothers and grandmothers blazed the trail for their daughters by breaking into traditionally male-dominated fields like engineering, law and business. They proved that Canadian women could – with education – pave their own paths and pursue their own dreams. While employment barriers still exist, the opportunities for women in Canada have never been greater. It has been breathtaking to witness the #MeToo movement rapidly gain momentum as courageous women from Canada and around the world speak up against sexual harassment and wage inequality in the workplace. Women who pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) have the opportunity to invent the future – and this is particularly exciting. We now see record levels of women studying STEM at Canadian universities, but these important fields remain overwhelmingly the bastion of men. As Ontario's first Chief Scientist, I am inspired to take my training in research, and its translation and communication, to a broader audience – to help shape policies that are grounded in evidence, to participate in redefining Ontario's strategic investment Dr. Molly Shoichet (middle) at the University of Toronto, 2016. Photo courtesy of the author.

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