Thanks to Hale Tufan for sharing her reflections on her own professional path from molecular biologist to leading projects in gender and agriculture. In this conversation with CGIAR, Hale shares her insights on how to inspire other scientists to incorporate gender and end-user preferences into their work. Hale also discusses some of the difficulties in overcoming the interdisciplinary gap and in capturing the realities faced by farmers.
From CGIAR Research on Gender and Agriculture blog:
Hale Ann Tufan is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University. She is also a member of the CGIAR Gender and Agriculture Research Network’s Gender and Breeding working group. Here she tells us a little bit about how she started to work in this area, what she’s working on right now and some challenges and potential opportunities of integrating gender into breeding.
A molecular biologist by training, Hale’s path to working on gender was not a direct one…
“After having worked in a lab, I realized I wanted to work around people. The transition from being a molecular biologist to other fields however, was not an easy one. I started looking at crops to work on that had a more applied focus, so cassava came out as a crop to work on in sub Saharan Africa. I got my PhD in the UK, and during a postdoc working on cassava I came across a job ad for NextGEN Cassava project manager. That’s how I got into more applied and development focused work, moving into this management position. The people who had designed the project had built in a gender budget into the project but there were no specific details on what had to be done. It was really exciting because it was a whole new world, and obviously gender issues in agriculture was interesting to me, outside of my work, but I had never had put those two together, and all of a sudden, it was that I could do this on a day to day basis.”
Read the full post here.