Pink won’t fix the systemic sexism in the sciences, but it also won’t hinder the development of anyone’s skills.
My boots for fieldwork are the essence of pragmatism, with tall shafts, sharp metal spikes for grip on slippery forest floors, and steel toes for safety, all in bland navy. They’re pure function, with no leeway to form. That is, until you get to the glittery pink laces.
I’m a field geophysicist. Basically, that means I go out into remote areas, ride around in helicopters to reach even more remote mountain peaks and glacial valleys, then spread out an array of delicate electronics and hope it doesn’t all short out in the rain or get chewed on by a bear. I hit a big red button to trigger anything from an electric shock to an explosion, listen carefully for how that signal gets warped by the Earth, then invert that data to pry into subsurface secrets. It’s a fascinating mix of James Bond villain and MacGyver, a blend of geek and jock, and the perfect job for someone who loves the beauty of math but can’t resist the call of the wilderness.
It’s also one of the many science fields where women are a rare sight.
I was always going to stand out among the burly, gruff men who make up most of the transient inhabitants of the mines and exploration camps I go to for gigs. But it didn’t take me long to embrace pink as my signature color during fieldwork, standing out even more prominently in a sea of drab olive greens, matte blacks, muddy browns, and sharp neon orange high-vis gear.
Courtesy of Mika McKinnon The