International Girls and Women in Science Feature Article

Feature Article International Girls and Women in Science Day - 2023

Wenzhu Xin, who goes by Mia, says her high school chemistry teacher was able to turn chemistry experiments into “magic.”  


“[She] was smart, beautiful, nice, … when I was choosing majors for university I thought ‘I want to be like her,” says Xin. “That’s the reason I entered into this field.” 


Xin has a BE in Chemical Engineering and Technology from the Wuhan Institute of Technology. After that, she moved to New Zealand and received her Graduate Diploma in Food Technology from Massey University. 


“[My husband and I] decided to move to Canada because we thought it was a good country,” says Xin. 


In Canada, less than 1/4th of people with careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are women, according to Randstad, who says “According to Statistics Canada, 34% of Canadians with a STEM degree are women and they make up only 23% of Canadians working in science and technology.”  


“Sometimes I feel it’s unfair being a woman, but it is what it is. I’m not sure if I’ve overcome it, but I have my way of dealing with it,” says Xin. She goes on to say that she used to be silent when her male coworkers would question her or interrupt her, but through encouragement from those closest to her, she has started to stand her ground again. 


Xin has plans to continue her personal and professional growth, saying her CRIEC mentor has pushed her to want more and to do more.  


“She helped me put together a career map action plan, what I can do in 5 years. She pushes me to move forward and not be satisfied with just finding a job. 


I want to tell a lot of girls; your best investment is yourself. Don’t underestimate yourselves. Don’t be afraid to try new things, stick up for yourself. You be an opportunity maker and you will see there is a bigger world.”

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