With February 11th marking the international day of women and girls in science, we caught up with Dr. Margo Mountjoy for a little Q&A about women in STEM. Dr. Mountjoy is the clinical and academic lead of the sports medicine department at the University of Guelph's Health and Performance Centre.
Question: What encouraged you to enter your career in STEM?
Answer (Dr. Margo Mountjoy): Medicine was always a passion of mine, from a young child. I always knew that i wanted to help improve peoples’ health and well-being.
Question: What advice do you have for young girls or women who are interested in pursuing a career in STEM?
Answer (Dr. Margo Mountjoy): 1. Believe in yourself 2. Follow your dreams – nothing happens if you don’t envision it first. 3. Just Do It! 4. Explore with mentors; learn from other women in STEM.
Question: What do you think are some of the biggest obstacles facing women in STEM?
Answer (Dr. Margo Mountjoy): Gender barriers do exist for women in careers in STEM, however in reality, much has improved in the area of gender equity. Hard work, quality work and perseverance go a long way to overcoming barriers that may exist. Strategies to overcome cultural discriminations would go a long way in helping to break down the barriers and obstacles.
Question: What do you view as the most important aspect in closing the gender gap in STEM?
Answer (Dr. Margo Mountjoy): Gender barriers can be overcome when everyone recognizes the relevance and importance of equity, and the importance of women’s contributions to the field. A year long/ daily change in culture is much more effective than just a ‘day in the year’ devoted to women in STEM! Let’s be part of the cultural shift towards EDI in STEM!
For more information on the collaborative team of practitioners at the University of Guelph's Health and Performance Centre, head to the HPC homepage.
University of Guelph's College of Biological Science: International Day of Women and Girls in Science, 2021
Studying STEM at the University of Guelph