In celebration of International Women’s Day, volunteers from the Diversity in Science Committee (DISC) wrote about women in science that inspire us. Kudos to these amazing women! How about you? Want to join us? Tweet @LaurentianSETAC about it!

Hashtags: #IWD2019, #SheInspiresMe.

– Submitted by Leah Chibwe, Ève Gilroy, Yamini Gopalapillai, and Cassandra Brivnocar

  • Cassandra Brivnocar, Laboratory technologist at Environment Canada and Climate Change, Burlington

#SheInspiresMe: Amila O. De Silva, Research Scientist at Environment and Climate Change Canada

“Since beginning as a Research Technologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada in the Aquatics Contaminants Research Division, I have found myself surrounded by intelligent, kind and amazing women. Amila de Silva, who is an outstanding scientist, leads my group. I have witnessed countless acts of her being an advocate for justice and equality in the workplace. She empowers the women around her and celebrates in everyone’s successes. I am extremely fortunate to have this accomplished woman to learn from.”

#SheInspiresMe: Leah Chibwe, Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Scientist at Environment and Climate Change Canada

“Another incredible woman I have had the pleasure to encounter at ECCC is Leah Chibwe. She is a postdoc here working on non-targeted analysis of organic environmental pollutants. There are have been times where I have been on my last string with my research project and she provided awesome advice and anecdotes from her own personal journey that refocused and rejuvenated my drive.  I can honestly say that these women inspire me to strive for greatness in everything I do and that they have been instrumental in growing my confidence as a #womeninSTEM #sheinspiresme”

  • Yamini Gopalapillai, Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Scientist at Environment Canada and Climate Change, Burlington

#SheInspiresMe: Amber Gleason, Environmental Research Lab and Field Technologist at Environment Canada and Climate Change; Amila O. De Silva and Jane Kirk, Research Scientists at Environment Canada and Climate Change

“The three musketeers, Amila De Silva (@amilaods), Jane Kirk (@JaneKirkHg), and Amber Gleason, inspire me because they are an example of amazing women in science who grew by supporting one another through personal and career challenges.”

  • Leah Chibwe, Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Scientist at Environment Canada and Climate Change, Burlington

#SheInspiresMe: Sarah Roberts, Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Scientist at Environment and Climate Change Canada

“Sarah Roberts is one of my favourite women in science to work along side with. She is in the field of paleolimnology, a field I wasn’t overly familiar with until I met her. She exudes a passion for her work and almost lights up every time she talks about sediment coring, field work and the other aspects related to her work. She is honestly one of the kindest, and most supporting people and women in STEM. Science can be almost cutthroat with deadlines, biases, balancing work and life, etc. She is a breath of fresh air and I hope she continues to have the courage to be an advocate for herself and others.”

  • Ève Gilroy, Research Scientist, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Burlington (@gilroy.eve)

#SheInspiresMe: Maria Villella, Research Technologist ECCC, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Burlington

“Born in Italy, Maria immigrated to Canada in the late 1960s at age 4. Her blue-collar parents wanted the best for their children, and felt strongly that they should get an education, as a key to independence and better work conditions. Maria earned her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from McMaster University in the mid-1980s, at a time when the field was poorly represented with regards to gender and cultural diversity. She joined Environment Canada (now ECCC) in 1989, and has worked with several scientists over the years. Nearly a year ago, as I joined ECCC’s Aquatic Contaminants Research Division, I had the fortune of being lucky number 7 in becoming Maria’s supervisor. Fearless of change, rather than sticking to the familiar, Maria took me under her wing and instilled order in what has been a whirlwind year of firsts. Maria is extremely organized and resourceful, and her support and enthusiasm have been the driving force behind our research. Her exceptional work ethic inspires me to give the best of myself and become a better supervisor.”