I can’t stress enough how important it is to talk about mental health every once in a while. Today is Bell’s Lets Talk day where they donate 5 cents for every social media post, tweet, and text message with #BellLetsTalk in it. Why do I care about this? Well many women in STEM programs face sexual harassment, verbal abuse (in many different forms), and even get paid less than their male counterparts (even if the women are top of their field). There is an immense inequality that still exists, even though many turn a blind eye to it. Women who publish scientific papers usually have longer wait times than men, unless of course they never use their first name. It is a bit ridiculous in today’s day and age.
I am a part of a few paleontological groups for women and the stories I read about experiences are heartbreaking. Women who I consider mentors, have all encountered roadblocks or discrimination of some sort. This treatment can be extremely stressful. Not getting credit for work done, being told that having a baby is going to ruin their career, being told that getting married is going to end their career, being overlooked as a speaker for conferences, not having our medical needs being taken seriously, and much more BS that simply has no place.
It is tougher than it should be. Many of us feel like we should ‘give up’ at least once, sometimes even once a year. That is why reaching out to each other for support is important. That is why I’m adding this blurb in front of my regularly scheduled fossil photos. Don’t give up, don’t let anyone stand in your way, and don’t worry about ‘cracking’…. we have all felt these feelings, and they can feel overwhelming… REACH OUT. Many are happy to talk and share. Find a mentor… or several.
OK, back to our What is it? Wednesday. I know what these are… but do you?