Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked the United Nations' International Day of Women and Girls in Sciences; sadly, something I wasn't aware of until after I had done my Member's statement for the day. However, as I think every day we should be focused on this important topic, I've decided to speak on it today, as well.
My career prior to politics, for those who may not be aware, was in engineering, and one of my passions in life is advancing the opportunities for women and non-binary people in the field of science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM. You may have heard me quote the statistic in the past that only 13 percent of engineers in Canada identify as women, a statistic that I have felt the personal toll of. When we look more locally, we hear the Minister of ECE say this week that only 5 to 7 percent of tradespeople in the territory identify as women. While I don't fault the Minister for this dismal statistic, it does tell me I need to be a thorn in his side to ensure it improves.
Women have done remarkable things in the scientific realm, made even more outstanding that a lot of them did it by teaching themselves when the barriers in place to education and experience must have seemed insurmountable. Women have taken us to the moon, photographed DNA for the first time, and discovered new elements. Marie Curie, the only person to win two Nobel Prizes in separate sciences, did so over 100 years ago. As a woman struggling to cope with sexism in our modern society, where we've never had it so good, I can't imagine how she felt, struggling to be heard in a world that felt she shouldn't even be bothered to learn to read.
When I look around our territory, when I think about the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, when I reflect on my own life, I know we still have a very long way to go, a long journey ahead before we ever reach the point where an international day of anything for women is no longer needed. However, I commit to continuing to march down that path, using whatever tools I have towards that day, and I will continue to try to pave that road for all the girls who will come after me. Thank you.