Trust Beta

Trust Beta

I serve on hiring committees where I look for both capability and diversity in applicants.

Professor, Food Science
University of Manitoba
“Eat Food. Not Too much. Mostly Plants. Let Food Be Your Medicine.” –Hippocrates

Dr. Trust Beta and her team are working towards understanding the role of plant chemicals (phytochemicals) in promoting health when consumed as part of our daily diet. She is a Certified Food Scientist and a Full Professor in Food Science at the University of Manitoba. She has just completed her 10-year appointment as a Canada Research Chair II in grain-based functional foods. She has published over 100 papers in the form of research articles and book chapters.

As an academic, what is your favourite part of your job?

My favourite part of the job is conducting research with concomitant training of highly qualified personnel.

What are you researching and what excites you about it?

I have been researching on plant chemicals (phytochemicals) in crops, their identification, quantification and changes during handling and processing.

What types of professions can students graduating in your field enter?

They become food scientists, quality assurance managers, food production supervisors, food product development scientists, professors, and research scientists.

Is your workplace male-dominated? If so, how do you negotiate being a woman in a male-dominated workplace and/or field?

Yes. Generally there is accommodation for women representation on committees. Thus I am able to bring up issues that involve me as a woman. There has been a case where I have had to opt for an appeal when I felt disadvantaged in a process of promotion where men formed the majority of the committee members.

How do you foster and encourage diversity in your workplace?

I serve on hiring committees where I look for both capability and diversity in applicants. I also hire highly qualified personnel from different backgrounds such that I create a mini 'united nations' in my research team.

What kinds of systemic support could institutions provide to help encourage girls and women to pursue careers in science and engineering?

Institutions can showcase exemplary female scientists in their efforts to encourage girls and women to pursue careers in science and engineering. Such showcasing can be done in schools and through advertisements in different media.

What advice would you give to girls or young women who are interested in careers in science or engineering?

My advice would be to encourage them to pursue such careers as girls and young women are quite as capable as any male student and that they would find the careers as rewarding as I have discovered

As a professional in science or engineering, who are your role models and mentors?

My role models have been mostly my male mentors although later I found a few female models along the way. They are in the field of food science.