International Women's Day 2019

By Gabriela Kuniec Modified on March 08, 2019
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Celebrating Women in STEM and #InnovateForChange

A female teacher instructs two female students in the science lab on International Women's Day.

Click here to check out our 2020 International Women's Day article, #GenerationEquality.

As a younger girl I was always encouraged to develop an interest in science and what is known as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) because women are extremely underrepresented. But no matter how much science or new technology interested me, I always found there was a very limited number of female role models. Either because women were forgotten or discouraged from STEM programs or they were not in related careers. Women are as much a part of the future as everyone else, and should be included and praised for their work.

This is why on this International Women's Day, I want to celebrate Donna Strickland who is Canada's 2018 Nobel Prize winner in Physics. She is Canada's first female scientist to win the Nobel Prize and only the third woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics. She shares the award with two other scientists, one of them being French scientist Gerard Mourou, after they discovered Chirped Pulse Amplification. Mourou was Donna's partner and supervisor. Their work was conducted in the early 1980s while Strickland was completing her PhD. She emphasized the importance of lasers in our future in an interview at the Nobel banquet.

"People would say electronics were the technology of the 20th century... but photonics is really going to be the technology of the 21st century" Strickland goes on to explain how lasers play a major role in our lives today – from surgery, to a trip to the grocery store, to long distance phone calls.

Strickland, who was born in Guelph, ON, obtained her PhD in 1989. She is now a professor at the University of Waterloo. She is an inspiration to all of us on this International Women's Day!

More Links:

Donna Strickland's bio on Wikipedia

De Beers Group Scholarships for Canadian Women

Nobel Prize Site

Canadian Government - International Women's Day 2019 Site

Empowering Girls though STEM Education at St. Margaret's School

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