Women in Science: Sara Molins-Cabaní

Since its declaration as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science back in 2015, February 11th has been the ideal moment to discuss and to promote actions for a full and equal access and participation of women and girls in science.

To continue with our initiative from last year, we have talked to some of the women working in ClearFarm project, to know their experiences and share their views about science and gender equality.

Sara Molins-Cabaní is a mechanical engineer who turned her career into environmental research at ICTA-UAB. She works to assess the environmental footprint of the pig and dairy farms of the ClearFarm project.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Sara, I live in Molins de Rei, a town close to Barcelona with my partner, our 15 months old daughter and two dogs. My first study choice was as mechanical engineer and I worked for some years as such. Two years ago, I gave a turn to my career and I’m currently immersed on the field of environmental sustainability as a PhD candidate in ICTA-UAB. My personal and professional goal is to make the world a little bit better and to advocate for nature.

Why did you become a scientist?

Because I wanted to pursue and to investigate on what I really care about. Being a scientist on the field I’ve chosen gives me this opportunity.

What is the coolest thing about your work/research?

The coolest thing and what inspires me the most is that I can invest my working time to something I care about. Currently I’m studying food production systems and how those can interrelate to have a better environmental performance.

Do you feel that your career would have been different if you were a man?

I feel I’ve been given the same professional opportunities as my male colleagues in my early jobs. Maybe my career would have been a little bit faster if I didn’t choose to take a maternity leave to take care of my own child, but it was something I wanted to prioritize. Also, I haven’t had any obstacle on starting again my career, I’m even grateful because now I’m here!

Combining family life, entrepreneurship and research. Is it realistic?

Not really. Work-life balance in the current society is quite hard to achieve. Being a mother makes me work during day but also during night! Though, I’m grateful that, where I’m currently working, I’ve total flexibility to adapt the needs of my family and work but some times it is extenuating. Working on something you like is important in this sense to keep going and feel happy every week that passes by.