Whenever we talk about Science, we often first think of names like Einstein, Newton, Tesla, Darwin etc. Do a quick Google search for ‘famous scientists’ and out of the 9 profiles that first appear, only 1 is a woman. Click on that ’42 more’ button and voila, you find 3 more women.
Even today, the STEM fields remain to be male dominated. While 53% of the undergraduate population are women, the number only gets smaller for the doctorate (34%) and postdoctoral (26%) levels. This means that out of 10 doctors, only 3 are women. Naturally (and perhaps unfortunately), having such sustained numbers through the generations results to certain stereotypes, perspectives, culture, and questions. Are women as fit and capable? (Yes.) But would it be easy to introduce women into a room full of men? Would she be heard?
We think it’s high time to start more STEM conversations with women in mind. Let’s amplify their voices and strengthen their presence!
ISawtheScience was privileged to meet a few scientists from various organisations. We asked them a few questions –
DYSON ; SENIOR DESIGN ENGINEER – LOW CHEN
Tell us about your STEM journey.
My journey in STEM started with a lot of curiosity, passion to try out new things, and interest for problem solving. Currently, I’m personally involved in the creation of pioneering technologies at Dyson. Every day at Dyson is different, exciting and challenging. Here, every day, we are creating new technologies to solve problems others ignore while keeping our secrets secret.
Do you have any advice for girls who would like to pursue STEM?
You don’t need gender-specific qualities to be a good engineer. You just need to be curious, fearless, confident, and of course, have a love for problem solving.
AMGEN ; MANUFACTURING TEAM – JERMAINE
Do you face any gender-bias in the STEM field? How do you overcome it?
In my work, I have not faced any specific gender bias. However, I do work with many guys in this industry. So what I would encourage all young women is to always be bold and ready to ask questions.
Any advice for girls out there who want to join the STEM industry?
I would say, dream big! Big dreams always start with little steps. Always have a curious mind.
AMGEN ; ENGINEERING TEAM – GAIL
Are there many women in your line of work?
Engineering is a male dominated industry but this is starting to change. Now, with more females like me joining the industry, the diversity can change.
Do you have any advice for girls pursuing science?
Do not be afraid to try! If you do not take the first step, you will not know what you’re capable of. If I can do it, so can you!
3M ; SENIOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ENGINEER – GWEN
How has your experience in a STEM industry been?
Although my industry is deemed to be male dominated, I’m very grateful to have met many great leaders who have provided me growth opportunities in the STEM field.
Do you have any role model or someone that inspired you to start on your path in STEM?
One of my role models is my biology teacher who made a lot of effort to bring forth real-life case studies and encouraged us to apply what we learnt, going beyond the textbook.
Any advice for girls who would like to join the STEM industry? Do enjoy the learning process! Make it a part of your life. Be adventurous and involve yourself with more STEM-related activities. Even if you are surrounded by males, always believe that you can make a change.
Written by Lydia Konig
Illustration by Jasreel Tan