A few months ago, the BBC Scotland team contacted me letting me know about the latest Series they had just launched, called ‘A day in the life of…(insert profession)‘ and expressing their interest in me being featured in one of them! Needless to say, I was so happy to hear this, it took all my strength to compose myself and not start jumping up and down before the end of our phone call.
After a few meetings we decided that it would be best if we did together a video about ‘A day in the life of a female scientist’ with the hope to promote the concept of #WomeninSTEM, trying to encourage young girls to study something related to the field and also inspire women to work in the academia.
We chose the setting of the video to be the Soil Science laboratory of the University of Aberdeen as I spent 3 years working on soil Biophysics during my Ph.D. project in this particular place; after letting my supervisors know about the video in case there were any restrictions, I got my white laboratory coat on, set the tripod and camera on and started shooting, always following the directions of the team. I showed them around, talked about the subject of #WomeninSTEM, answered all of their questions and analysed a few soil samples for the sake of recording some footage material before taking them to the Phytotron area were I was growing some barley and oats seeds under different pH soil levels in flooded and dried conditions.
Since the day of the recording -back in April- life got a bit hectic and I had forgotten about the video. But this morning, I woke up to see my face all over BBC Scotland’s social media…talking about science and it was one of the greatest surprises I had in my life!
<<You can see my video HERE by the way >>
The video is a bit over edited as Twitter and Instagram allow only for 30 seconds long videos-so I hope my experiment explanation makes sense to you with so many parts being cut. But aside this, the video is finally live and I could not be any more excited and pleased with the result.
Watching the video has triggered online conversations and e-mail exchanges among young female Ph.D. students and myself expressing their interest in my project and congratulating the BBC Scotland team for their wonderful video idea. The majority of the people who got in touch, agreed with my views about the reasons women choose not to stay in the academia and female researchers shared with me their concerns about not progressing a career in the University as it will be extremely difficult to succeed in a male dominated environment. It is truly frustrating when women reach at the top of the academic ladder, but with pregnancies and raising children along the course of life, they chose to step back in their career as they cannot be as competitive as their male colleagues. But until the academia appreciates and creates good working conditions for women, then we can only hope that one day there will be a fair ratio of Male/Female Professors in each University.
Here’s to hoping!
Have you seen the video? What are your views about #WomeninSTEM?