I am passionate about increasing diversity in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and because of this I am also often inspired to write about this passion. In 2015 & 2016 a number of high-profile examples of bias and under-representation of women in science were discussed on social media. Alongside my own growing awareness of a limited diversity of people in research institutions, the stories I increasingly heard, made me more aware of the fact that very few women remain beyond early career research-level in my field in academia. Many of the women I built relationships with during my masters and PhD have since moved out of academia; either leaving their career completely, changing careers or moving into government and non-government agencies. In addition to a dearth of women holding high-level positions in my field, I was aware of disparities in overall diversity across all levels of academia. My increased awareness and concern about a general lack of diversity across STEM fields drove me to increase my leadership within professional societies and to reach out to younger children to make them aware of what scientists look like; not all scientists are white men wearing lab coats. This haiku was inspired by my love, and passion, for growing diversity in the workplace, and for raising awareness about the need for increased respect for human and ecological diversity. Diversity benefits us all, creating healthier and more productive workplaces, communities and environments.
Haiku: Steph Januchowski-Hartley; Photo: Tom Rayner