From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Scott Terrell
Did you know Feb. 11 is recognized as International Day of Women and Girls in Science? It’s a day that celebrates the accomplishments of women and girls in science and technology and aims to recruit even more into these fields in the future.
Well, here at Disney, we have an incredibly talented and diverse team supporting our animals, science and environment work – and we’re proud of the fact that women are strongly represented across all of our teams – in fact, more than 70% of our science and conservation roles are held by women.
These cast members are vital in helping us achieve our goals of protecting wildlife and wild spaces each and every day, and today, we are eager to shine a light on the great work they’re doing. Let’s celebrate, the women behind the science, and the magic.
Much of the work our team is involved in aims to advance animal sciences to benefit animals here and in the wild. Some of our cast members work behind-the-scenes, spending time in our labs to study behavioral patterns and endocrinology data, while others are providing medical care and training animals to participate in their own care. They focus on helping animals from the inside out, ensuring the thousands of animals in our care stay healthy.
Some of our cast conduct research, both in the field, and in our labs. For instance, Dr. Shana Lavin, one of our research managers, and her team are working wonders to help us successfully breed endangered species as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plans. Have you heard about the new zebra foal and colobus infant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Both births were made possible thanks in part to the efforts of Dr. Shana and her team.
Or take Dr. Lily Maynard, a leader for our conservation programs team, whose field work has helped save monarch butterflies from extinction and provided learnings for the entire AZA community. Studying science has always been a lifelong passion for Dr. Lily – she obtained her undergraduate degree in biology from an all-women’s school, Smith College, before going on to obtain her masters and doctorate degrees at the University of Florida. She continues to make great contributions to the science community and serves as an inspiration for girls looking at STEM careers.
These are just a few of the great examples of the important work our cast members are doing and I’m so incredibly proud of how they use their expertise to make the world a better place. You can learn more about the work the Animals, Science and Environment team does by visiting DisneyAnimals.com and Disney.com/conservation.