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Things are really changing from ‘measuring light’ to ‘solving problems’.
The most rewarding part of my work at Ocean Insight is the ‘Insight Inside’ moments. When an Ocean customer, or customer’s product, is featured in a story or becomes a topic of conversation. When you are able to really see where Ocean products are being used in ways that affect people’s lives. That’s the cool part.
Using ASK (Applied Spectral Knowledge) we want to enable YOU to do things, make measurements that seemed initially impossible.
Q: What about our industry excites you right now?
Things are really changing from ‘measuring light’ to ‘solving problems’. I went into industry after school because I wanted to see how that fundamental research translated to everyday items, technology, and problem solving. With situations like Covid, it is inspiring to see all of the collaboration between research, industry, and manufacturing to really tackle a massive problem on a global scale.
Q: According to UNESCO, only 30% of the world’s researchers are women. Although the percentage is higher in Central Asia (46%) and North America (43%), why do you think this gender gap still exists?
Because the rest of women’s roles haven’t decreased. Being in a research career doesn’t mean there are less responsibilities at home. Women are still the primary caregivers and homemakers whether they work or not. Careers in research are generally very time consuming and involve nights, weekends, and travel. Without support and balance in the rest of your life, it just doesn’t work.
Q: Knowing you have a daughter, if she becomes interested in science or technology as a career, what advice would you give her?
There are so many more options for a scientist than being in the lab. Having a foundational education in the sciences opens up so many career paths that you don’t think about when you’re in school. You can have a fulfilling and successful career both in or out of the lab. I’ve seen too many people give up on the science field because they didn’t’ enjoy lab work every day and we tend to think that this is our only option when it definitely isn’t!
Q: Thank you, Heather.