|Back (l-r): Emma Buckle, Dr Shalome Bassett; Front (l-r): Margaret Sinclair-Jones (Chair), Dr Audrey Jarvis. Image courtesy of Geraldine Anne McCarthy.
The NCWNZ Manawatu branch meeting in October 2022 featured Dr Shalome Bassett, Principal Scientist at Fonterra’s Research and Development Centre in Palmerston North.
Dr Bassett introduced a recently developed genome sequencing device which was designed to reduce methane production by cattle. The device could lead to the reduction of burps and methane emissions in dairy herds. In discussing this, Dr Bassett thanked former Principal Scientist Dr Audrey Jarvis for her early research into lactic acid bacteria.
In talking about women working in science, she raised issues with work which were intensified by such matters such as leave for childbirth and timeout for childcare, but that these could be managed. She emphasised the need for women in science to foster positive relationships and ‘hold their ground’ when assessing their pay scales. She also highlighted the benefits of overseas experience on return to the New Zealand job market. She advised that women should keep evaluating the effect of work on themselves, their families, friends, and community.
Listeners appreciated Dr Bassett’s grace and willingness to share her experiences and related to the lived female experience that strengthened her voice.