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Although, especially among young researchers, the “Gender Gap” in science has narrowed in recent years, men are still more present in international research. As a global scientific enterprise, the combination of various perspectives and experiences is vital for MGI. We would like to shed light on this particular topic and therefore we are asking the women of MGI to share their experiences.
Foto of Gabriela de Valle
Gabriela de Valle, Master of Urban Studies, is Coordinator for Sustainability and Climate Change at Instituto Municipal de Planeación Saltillo (IMPLAN), and since April 2022 the Local Lead of the City Lab Saltillo.
MGI: Please describe your function within the MGI project.
Gabriela: I am the Local Lead of the MGI Project in Saltillo. With the team from IMPLAN we coordinate activities and promote the participation of the Government, corporations, universities, and the citizens in this project.
MGI: What sparked your interest in climate change, sustainability, and scientific research in the first place?
Gabriela: When I was a child, I grew up close to nature. My grandparents were farmers and they taught me to respect and value the environment. Over the years, I have witnessed these natural resources were changed and destroyed, and how climate change generated heavy complications on local and global level. That is why I have started to search for a way to connect my professional career as an economist with activities that would contribute to environmental protection. Thanks to my master’s in urban and Environmental Studies, I acquired a more integral and multidisciplinary vision for the development of projects and programs that give sustainable impulse to the development of our society. Environmental research is fundamental. If we study and learn from nature, we can build better cities that offer opportunities and wellbeing without destroying our planet.
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MGI: From your point of view, why do women play a crucial role in sustainable city development and climate change mitigation and adaptation?
Gabriela: Women have a different vision that aims at structural changes in the traditional way of doing and seeing things. I am convinced that is why we have a fundamental role in building cities that are more social, more sustainable and with better plans to reduce and avoid risks. Women want a deep-reaching change and that is exactly what we need as a society to address climate change. The contributions of women to evidence the climate crisis and the destruction of the environment have been plenty and significant throughout history. Thanks to the effort of female researchers like Rachel Carson and her Book Silent Spring, Anne Elrich’s The Population Bomb, or Donella Meadows’ report The Limits to Growth, we have had a breakthrough in the recognition of this crisis. Every day, women continue to make an effort to protect our planet. We are all part of this necessary social change, women as well as men. We all should become aware of our responsibility to protect the planet. However, I feel, as a woman, that our gender has a special connection to nature.