Empowering women in the workplace and at sea

Sofia Nogués, Senior External Communications Manager at Clarivate Analytics, reflects on her recent sailing eXXpedition

Sofia Nogués is based in the Clarivate Barcelona office. Selected from 10,000 applicants, Sofia successfully completed a 10-day voyage from Aruba to Panama in December 2019 as part of the global eXXpedition initiative – an all-women voyage exploring the impact of plastics and toxics in our ocean.

As an eXXpedition ambassador, Sofia is now sharing what she learned with her own community to raise awareness for women in STEM. In this blog she talks about her experience, key learnings and her commitment to supporting Clarivate’s efforts to promote women in STEM.

 

A life-changing experience

Taking part in eXXpedition was a unique and life-changing experience. I came across the opportunity through the Women at Clarivate program, our global resource group to uplift and nurture women across the company. I applied to take part because I am passionate about the program’s mission to help solve the plastic pollution crisis and open conversations around female leadership.

The voyage itself was part of a two-year, 30-leg expedition involving 300 women, with my specific trip consisting of a strong 14-woman crew. Our trip’s primary purpose was to research the presence of micro-plastics in our oceans, how they behave in ocean currents and their exposure to weather conditions.

Several of the all-women crew members had no scientific background, so the voyage brought science closer to all of us. Publicizing this education and resource gap through eXXpedition’s mission also helped to raise awareness that not enough women have access to opportunities in science.


Photo credit: Sophie Dingwall

 

Raising awareness in San Blas

When we reached the San Blas islands in Panama, we spoke to the General Congress Guna, the highest political authority of Guna Yala (San Blas), about our mission and eXXpedition’s science program, which was developed with the help of Highly Cited Researcher Prof. Richard Thompson of the University of Plymouth.

We were joined by a marine environmentalist who brought along their daughter to the event. We were very encouraged to hear that the young girl wanted to work in science around plastic pollution one day – an unusual career choice for girls in the islands.

We also spoke at a school where we demonstrated the use of Foldscopes, an inexpensive origami-based microscope that we built and showed the children how to use. Many of the girls in the room were highly engaged and wanted to use them to view samples. Sherri Bastien from the crew donated a set of Foldscopes so the school could continue to promote scientific research among its students.


Photo credit: Sophie Dingwall

 

Raising awareness for women in STEM

The eXXpedition was one of my greatest experiences and provided a fantastic opportunity to share ideas with a group of amazing women with similar ambitions. I have long been working to promote gender equality and remove the stereotype that STEM careers are mostly reserved for men. Globally, there are still only 30% of women in STEM careers. We really need to educate the next generation of girls to pursue a career in STEM — something Clarivate is committed to as well.

There is still not enough visibility for women in science, so girls don’t have enough role models, nor the leadership needed to go into the STEM careers. The more visibility there is, the more chance there will be of having equality in the sector.

I intend to continue raising awareness at all levels by speaking to the media, talking in schools (including the Institut Sant Just to mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11), and sharing my experiences with my Clarivate colleagues and the Women at Clarivate network.

 

To find out more about working at Clarivate and our current opportunities visit: careers.clarivate.com.

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