30 Under 30: Natalie Panek, Rocket Scientist

Meet the Canadian women who are changing the world. Prepare to be hella inspired by Natalie Panek

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(Photo: Reynard Li)

(Photo: Reynard Li)

Rocket Scientist / 30 
Twitter: @nmpanek

As a rocket scientist and adventurer, Natalie Panek occupies two spheres in which women are often in the minority. “I do see a crossover,” says the Toronto-based Panek, “between the lack of women in science and the lack of women in adventure.” In both, Panek—a frequent keynote speaker and advocate for women in tech—encourages her contemporaries to push themselves out of their comfort zones, whether that means travelling alone to Alaska, as Panek has, or driving a solar-powered car from Austin to Calgary, something she’s also done. Panek urges women to avoid creating non-existent fears, “and to let our curiosity reign instead.” In an ideal world, she adds, the gender split in science and technology would be 50-50 (it’s currently closer to 70-30). To get there, she says, focus needs to shift to all the amazing, accomplished women already in the industry: “We need to inspire first.”

Go back to the FLARE 30 Under 30 gallery

 

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