career

It seems people just don't know what to call this woman.

When you see this image, what occupation first springs to mind?

Magdalena Roze. Image via Channel 10.

Weather girl?

Perhaps weather woman?

If you're particularly progressive and simply cannot see gender, perhaps you defaulted to weather presenter.

Either way, you're wrong.

The answer is meteorologist. A scientist.

Magdalena Roze completed a Graduate Diploma in Atmospheric Science, and won the 2009 Biophysical Environments Prize and the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Prize at University.

She's also completed a meteorological training course at the Bureau of Meteorology.

Monique Bowley, Mia Freedman and I discuss why on earth we still use the term 'weather girl'. Post continues below. 

But when she graces our screens in a beautiful dress, alongside tomorrows weather forecast, we're quick to reduce her to 'weather girl'.

This week, three female meteorologists from the US participated in a discussion titled "Don't call me weather girl", on The Weather Channel, which addresses the unique challenges women face in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.

“I don’t think people realise how many times I do get called that today,” meteorologist Jen Carfagno said in an accompanying Facebook live discussion.

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“You just let it roll off your shoulders.”

Host Professor Marshall Shepherd wrote in a blog post after the episode "The fact that two of our guests are chief meteorologists is rare in itself... Check the numbers on female chief meteorologists around the nation. It's pretty pathetic."

Even more pathetic when those who are - in fact - scientists, fail to be referred to as such.

The problem extends far beyond semantics. Using the correct term for a female scientist is about providing role models for young girls who are interested in STEM fields.

“Let’s abolish the term ‘weather girl,’” Shepherd concluded. “Respect these women for what they are: scientists.”

Of course, not all women who present the weather are scientists. Rebecca Judd is not a meteorologist, nor is Livinia Nixon or Sarah Cumming. Their backgrounds range from speech pathology to journalism.

But Tim Bailey is not a scientist either - and has never been infantalised as a 'weather boy'.

Weather boy? Image via Channel 10.

It is absurd that in 2017 we are labelling females who report weather on television, regardless of their qualifications, 'weather girls'. Not least because they are fully-grown career women.

And a distinction ought to be made between people who have studied meteorology and those who have not. But gender is completely irrelevant.

If she's reporting the weather on your television she is one of only two things:

A meteorologist.

Or a weather presenter.

In 2017, let's vow to drop the 'girl'

You can listen to the full episode of Mamamia Out Loud, here. 

Check out all our podcasts and any books mentioned in any of our shows at apple.co/mamamia.