LETTER: STEAM women missing from Star’s list

From reader Anne Simonen

RE: The women who make Nelson great, March 4

Thank you for recognizing so many great women in Nelson! I am so grateful for all the work that they do to make our community the place it is.

However, I couldn’t help but notice that except for a few women in medicine, there was a lack of representation in the science, technology, engineering, art/design, math (STEAM) and trades careers. So I would like to put forward a few more acknowledgements. Not all of these women may live in Nelson, but contribute to it nonetheless.

First, Tanya Malcolm and Laura Vaché at KAST, who in the last year, despite the circumstances, have brought many wonderful programs that help youth explore science, technology, trades, and engineering careers. A major annual event is Quantum Leaps, which aims to support young women interested in pursuing STEAM careers by providing access to role models and career options.

I also want to recognize all the scientists, engineers, technologists, and tradespeople who volunteer their time to projects that advance women in STEAM and trades, and help at youth events like Quantum Leaps. They share experiences, advice, and inspiration, showing young women and girls that they can pursue and succeed in these careers, no matter the obstacles. These volunteers are carpenters, safety co-ordinators, engineers, data analysts, and metalworkers, and in many cases, lifelong activists for women in non-traditional careers.

Thank you for raising the name of so many women in our community. It really wouldn’t be the same without them, but it is also important to recognize under-represented groups too. Women make up only 22 per cent of engineers, and 14 per cent of trades people. But through the actions of these women, the future will be much more equal.

Ann Simonen