NSERC Chair for
Women in Science & Engineering

Dr. Wendy Osborn

Go for it!!!!!!!!! :)

Associate Professor, Computer Science
University of Lethbridge

Wendy Osborn is an Associate Professor in Computer Science at the University of Lethbridge. Research interests include the management and query processing of non-standard data types, from a centralized, distributed and mobile perspective. Graduated with B.C.S. (Hons) and M.Sc. from the University of Windsor, and Ph.D. from the University of Calgary.

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

Basically, it's being able to learn new things - whether it be from reaching, my students when teaching, or serving on committee that is new to me.

What are you researching and what excites you about it?

My general area is data management and query processing of non-standard data types, such as spatial data and network data. Query processing from a centralized system, distributed system and from mobile devices.

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

I know many who have graduated from a doctoral program that either work in academia or industry.

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

With respect to STEM fields, and in particular, Computer Science, yes it is male-dominated. The last part will be tough to answer - I don't have any issues with negotiating my way though this. Compared to what I dealt with growing up, this is a walk in the park. If something does come to light, I will update my answer to this to help others.

How do you foster and encourage diversity in your workplace?

Respect everyone for their differences, and expect others (including students in my class!) to do the same.

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

As someone who studied whatever I wanted and adopted the hobbies and interests that I wanted, I'm not sure what advice I can give here. I'm hoping others who were held back (for whatever reason) can provide more advice here.

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

Go for it!!!!!!!!! :)

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

My mother, sister, niece, and grandmother. All who had to beat the odds (in general life, not necessarily based on their identified gender) to succeed in life.