If you find it interesting and compelling, pursue it
I completed my BSc in 1999 in Ecology at the University of Toronto, where I first started research in the field of limnology. I completed my PhD from the Department of Zoology at the University of Guelph in 2005, examining the life history and diets of copepods in the Bay of Fundy. I completed two postdoctoral fellowships - one at the University of Quebec at Montreal looking at the ecology of zooplankton size spectra, and one at the University of Regina, examining carbon and nitrogen biogeochemistry. In 2009, I was appointed as a Lecturer in the Biology Department at the U of R, and was then promoted to Assistant Professor in 2016, where I am now researching aquatic ecology and biogeochemistry in Prairie lakes. I am interested in determining the role of human activities on lake water quality how to develop ecologically-sound mitigation practices for water quality improvement. I am also interested in carbon budgets in prairie lakes and ponds, and how carbon dynamics interact with climate change.
I love that my job allows me the freedom to pursue research that is interesting to me. It is always changing, and there's always a new and exciting avenue to explore.
Beyond academia, students in my field may be employed in areas such as environmental monitoring, greenhouse gas accounting, water quality analyses, and water management.
Males outnumber females in the professor ranks in my department, but overall, there is a fairly even split between genders in the hallway. I feel comfortable being myself in my workplace, and am confident to contribute when I know I have something to add to the discussion.
I like to focus on the different personalities of people in my lab and workplace. Everyone has different motivations, and by understanding these, we can provide an exciting and nurturing workplace for everyone.
I think the presence of female role models speaks loudly to encourage girls to pursue science. Having women in authoritative and high-ranking positions, and having gender parity in teaching and research positions shows girls that there is no reason for them to not pursue their goals.
Follow what interests you. Don't worry immediately about the specific job at the end of your degree(s) - if you find it interesting and compelling, pursue it!
I have been lucky to have several female advisors and teachers during my studies - they were all strong, confident, and self-assured women who had an infectious excitement about their research. I am also lucky to have had three generations of exceptionally strong and independent women in my family - I consider my grandmother, mother, and sister to be role models for me from a young age.