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Career Advice

Three women scientists in their own words

Interview excerpts from our feature article "Examining the roots of the perennial gender gap in the STEM disciplines".


Valerie Davidson, Victoria Kaspi and Shohini Ghose were among the female academics interviewed by journalist Harriet Eisenkraft for the feature on roadblocks for women academics in science. They had particularly pertinent things to say about their career paths, and not everything made it into the final article.

Here are some audio excerpts from these interviews.

Valerie Davidson, professor emerita from the school of engineering at the University of Guelph (Running time: 5:26).


  • Experience studying science at the university level, where there were no female professors or mentors, and few other female students (0:00-2:53).
  • The importance of networking and recognition for women in STEM fields and how it can sometimes be difficult for women to highlight their accomplishments (2:53-5:26).

Victoria Kaspi, professor of physics and Canada Research Chair in Observational Astrophysics at McGill University (Running time: 8:11).


  • Being one of the few females in her science classes at the university and CEGEP levels, and how it didn’t bother her too much (0:00-3:25).
  • Her duty as a role model for young children and whether institutional change is needed for more women to succeed in the STEM fields (3:31-5:22).
  • The importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance (5:25-8:11).

Shohini Ghose, director of Wilfrid Laurier University’s new Centre for Women in Science, as well as a professor of physics and computer science (Running time: 4:52).


  • The importance of her unbiased male adviser and how it didn’t matter to him that she was female (0:00-1:57).
  • Not wanting to be given special treatment for being a woman, she just wanted to be recognized for doing “good science”. How well did that work? (2:05-4:52).
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