Sometimes when I practice gratitude in my life, I think back to when I was a little girl and imagine telling this little girl of all the incredible adventures that lay ahead.
I’d tell her the stories of how she would grow up and hike the tallest mountains, fly over the deepest valleys, travel to the far reaches of the world and sleep under the midnight sun.
I’d sit beside her and marvel, knowing she would mature into an intelligent, strong and independent young woman who would gain the respect of her peers, and have access to a future full of opportunity and wealth.
I’d warn her that sometimes it was going to be tough. But those experiences would teach her how to gain confidence, practice patience, master the art of forgiveness but most importantly, know how and when to stand up for herself.
And I’d tell her she’d accomplish all of this simply by exploring a mystery that’s billions of years old: the Earth.
Becoming a geologist was one of the best and most life-changing decisions I have ever made, though I can understand the disappointment expressed in last week’s Letter to the Editor, “Daughters: Avoid mining or geology as a career.”
I consider the author of the letter as one of the true “pioneer” women geologists who likely beared the brunt of a hostile work environment geared favourably towards men.
But for every hardship she has endured, there are others like myself who are marching behind and standing to benefit. Although my experience hasn’t been perfect, the conditions for women in the industry have certainly improved, and they continue to evolve in a positive direction before my eyes.
The future isn’t possible without pioneers like her. So instead of waving a white flag, I’d like to sound a trumpet to all the daughters of the world: if you so desire, pursue geology as a career, dig your hands into mining and charge full steam ahead.
You’ll be glad you did.