International Day of Women and Girls in Science
Contribution's from Alyson Vasconcellos PT, DPT, Regional Director of Operations at California Rehabilitation and Sports Therapy – Fountain Valley, Brookhurst St. and Rachel Failing PT at Rehab4Life Physical and Occupational Therapy – Fargo, 40th Ave.
Today, women across the world recognize International Day of Women and Girls in Science. To celebrate this, we reached out to a few of our incredible female physical therapists to hear their thoughts on the representation of women and girls in science.
Why do you think this observance is significant?
The science/medical field has been dominated by men for a long time and I think it’s important to show young women/girls that they can also work in this field and be successful. We are seeing women rise to leadership positions throughout the health field even breaking into being lead ATC/PT roles for men’s sports teams. As a young college student, I was told I could never make it in sports PT because I was a female…and this same message has been echoed to girls for far too long. ~ Alyson Vasconcellos PT, DPT, Regional Director of Operations at California Rehabilitation and Sports Therapy – Fountain Valley, Brookhurst St.
What drew you to science?
Since I was in elementary school, I always loved learning about the human body and knew that I wanted a career in the medical field. ~ Rachel Failing PT at Rehab4Life Physical and Occupational Therapy – Fargo, 40th Ave.
Truthfully, I’m just a nerd. I am really interested in how things work, especially the body. I like learning about how different cells interact to cause different reactions and the details of a muscle contraction to make the body move. ~ Alyson
What women in science inspire you?
In PT specifically: Sara Meeks and Mary Massery because of what their expertise and research has added to the field. ~ Rachel
The ones that are “breaking the rules”. The firsts. The ones who don’t fit the mold of what society thinks a particular role should look like. ~Alyson
Why is the representation of women in science so important?
It is SO important to have women in science for many reasons, but the reason that I feel is most relevant to me is that they are the ones asking important questions related to women's health and are motivated to find the answers. A lot of research in the past was focused on men or performed with male models. Women's bodies are different, and women have different experiences and concerns. Having more women in science helps to push forward our understanding of our bodies and how caring for them may be different. (Also, many issues that relate to women also concern men too--such as osteoporosis and pelvic floor health, 2 conditions which PT's can specialize in). ~Rachel
To set an example for young girls who dream of having a role in the sciences. Everyone needs someone they can look up to and I think for young girls to see their moms, aunts, friends, etc. being successful in the sciences gives them hope that maybe they can do the same and gives them a realistic goal or image of their potential dreams. Women can be orthopedic surgeons, sports therapists, researchers, etc. ~ Alyson
What do you hope for the future of women and girls in science?
I hope girls will become confident in their ability to make a difference in this field. That women wouldn’t be afraid to go for their dreams and continue to push their education. ~Alyson