We have an organization for women in science-related fields here at UBC, and I try to keep up with their various events and programs, and I told my students about it when I was teaching. I even put a link to it on my web page and told them how to subscribe to the listserv. Over the summer I learned that they have a mentoring program where they match up mentors and mentees in similar fields. Most of the participants are undergrads but grad students are also welcome so I signed up, eager to encourage undergrads in biology.
This week I went to an event to meet my mentee, only to discover that she dropped out at the last minute and they haven't found me a new mentee yet. I hope they find a mentee for me. Most science-major undergrads at UBC are pre-health so people declaring an early interest in ecology and evolutionary biology are few and far between.
There was a grand total of 10 of us at this mentoring event. TEN. When you round to two decimal places that's 0% of the female student population participating in the program. Where are all the women in science? I'm guessing that 95% of them aren't aware the program exists. In previous years they've had 60+ women participate, so I'm not sure why they have such low numbers this year.
I ran into five of my former students on campus today, so maybe I'll start mentioning the program to the women that I run into. Is that too weird?