Network of Women in Marine Science

Meet the Steering Committee: Yvonne Wanjiku Waweru

In a series of posts the coming weeks we will introduce you to the member of the Steering Committee of the Network of Women in Marine Science (WiMS). We have now only two more members left to introduce. Today we will continue with Yvonne Wanjiku Waweru – the Country Representative for Kenya and the Executive member of the Steering Committee. Yvonne is a Specially Elected Member in the County Assembly of Kiambu in Kenya.

Why did you decide to join WiMS?

I joined because it offers a great opportunity to participate in a network of women working in different contexts and settings and drawn from diverse countries but all working in the Western Indian Ocean- our shared ocean space. Also I strongly believe in adopting transdisciplinary approaches to address current and emerging threats to the coastal and marine environment of the WIO and WiMS offers a platform to bring together women from the natural and social sciences for this purpose.

Each of the members of the SC are appointed for 3 years. What would you like to achieve during your time in the Steering Committee?

I would like to first and foremost build a Kenyan network of women studying and working in marine sciences. In addition, as an executive member of WiMS, I will actively advocate for structural approaches that would enable more women to participate as project leaders in research projects, and possible interventions that would assist them to balance work and family life. I also would like to give talks at primary schools, secondary schools, further education colleges, and universities to engage the next generation of marine scientists. Finally, I would like to champion for the participation of more women in Kenya’s blue economy.

Why should women marine scientists join WiMS?

I would greatly encourage women out there that have not joined WiMS to do so. The WiMs network offers a great opportunity and platform to engage with other women working in marine sciences in the Western Indian Ocean region and share knowledge and experiences that would enrich and build on their own knowledge and experience.

Do you have any advice for young women planning to pursue careers in marine science?

The world needs science and science needs women! Indeed we need more women marine scientists in the WIO region. I would encourage them not to get discouraged and to pursue their dreams and ambitions and strive to be the best in their fields.It is an exciting field.