The confidence to act on our dreams

By: Hayet Laggoune, Senior Policy Analyst, Ottawa

I was born in Sétif, Algeria, and I hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in applied science in renewable energies from the Université de Constantine in Algeria, and a doctorate in engineering in image processing from the Université de Bourgogne in France. I now live in the traditional, unceded and unsurrendered territories of the Algonquin Anishinaabe nation in Gatineau, Quebec, and I joined the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada in 2018.

At the agency, I worked on the training team to help implement the Impact Assessment Act throughout the different regions of Canada. I then worked as a Consultation Analyst at the Crown Consultations Division. I am currently on assignment at the Intergovernmental Affairs and Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Directorate.

I have always been interested in math and physics, starting when I was a young child. I was fascinated by experimentation, especially the results of certain chemical reactions and the interpretation of them. I remember one of my first experiments where I exposed starch in a slice of bread using an iodine reagent solution. It was amazing to see the orange drop turn blue/black in the presence of starch. I also remember being the first to rush to repair a blown fuse in the house. In short, it was my curiosity to understand the world around me and to explore it piece by piece that attracted me to science.

What I love the most about working in science is the exploration and the search for solutions to issues or challenges, as well as the continuous improvements we make. Seeing the impact of our work is so gratifying!

My message to girls is this: you are capable and you hold the potential to have a significant impact in our society. Believe in what you are doing and fulfill your dreams. There are barriers, but you must persevere to plot your own path and reach your goal. You will certainly shine! Be a reflection of our country’s mosaic in all spheres of society, especially science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)!

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