Around the world the fields of scientific research and development remain a male-dominated environment. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics less than thirty percent of the world’s researchers are women. Many women enter a career in science but leave because of roadblocks and challenges. Canada wants to change that.
Brandy Yanchyk’s documentary Ms Scientist explores how Canada is trying to get female scientists to stay in the fields of science and progress to the top. Ms Scientist looks at the successes and challenges that Canada’s female scientists face. The film delves into their lives and examines the obstacles that are hindering their success such as balancing family and work, sexual harassment and unconscious bias.
Ms. Scientist is airing on CBC TV now and Canadians can watch this documentary online here: https://watch.cbc.ca/media/media/absolutely-canadian/episode-17/38e815a-00f433343a9
Now everyone outside of Canada can watch it here using Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/msscientist/279160758
Why tell this story now?
This story needs to be told now because furthering the careers of women and science is one of the objectives of the Canadian federal government at the moment. In April 2017, Canada’s Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan said she is considering whether quotas are necessary to ensure that women land top research posts in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).
What are the themes?
The barriers female scientists face as women in science (e.g., sexual harassment, discrimination/bias, stopping to have a family and reentering the workforce
Whether we need quotas in order to achieve gender equality in Canada Research Chair positions
The lack of female representation at the higher levels (e.g., Full Professor government and high ranking University positions)
The importance of mentoring younger female researchers.