When you hear Natalie speak about her work, her passion and enthusiasm can make just about anyone wish they had a career in science/technology. She told WYSK, “It’s not just that I enjoy my job; it’s that I love engineering change and using innovation and creativity to find solutions to complex and advanced problems.” She added, “I have witnessed firsthand the positive impact that transformative technology can have on society. How we can revolutionize the way we live and work using innovation and how rewarding this feels.”

It’s this very message that Natalie, an impassioned catalyst for change, wants to get out to the next generation, especially women, using her own powerful voice and experiences.

Natalie giving her TEDxYouth at Toronto. Photo Credit: Mariam Magsi

Natalie giving her TEDxYouth at Toronto. Photo Credit: Mariam Magsi

In a TEDxYouth talk on “Revolutionizing Female Empowerment” that Natalie gave in Toronto last December, she conducted a live experiment. She asked all the students in the audience to stand as she named several women. The group was instructed to remain standing if they knew the woman she mentioned and sit if they didn’t.

The first two names she threw out were Kim Kardashian (reality TV star) and Heidi Klum (Victoria’s Secret model/TV personality). As expected, every single person remained PROUDLY standing and there were several audible “WOO HOOs” from the audience at the mere mention of these women.

She then went on to name three women trailblazers in technology today (Marissa Mayer, President and CEO of Yahoo!; Melissa Pemberton, an aerobatic aircraft pilot/performer, professional daredevil and BASE jumper; Leena Gade, Race Engineer for Audi Sport and the first female Race Engineer to win the Le Mans 24 Hours, a high profile endurance motorsports race). Within seconds, the entire room was SEATED and DEAD SILENT. How very sobering… a truly sad statement about what is valued by society today.

But her experiment perfectly illustrates the reason why Natalie is on a mission to revolutionize how we think about women in technology. She wants to showcase female superstars in STEM and focus on why they LOVE what they do, rather than on the challenges of being a woman in these fields. The goal: to provide better access to admirable, compelling mentors who can inspire, encourage, and excite the next generation of female game-changers.

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