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Hearing from real Women in STEM, about whats its really like, to exist in typically male-dominated environments. Hosted by Dr. Shini Somara.

Scilence Dr. Shini Somara

    • Technologie

Hearing from real Women in STEM, about whats its really like, to exist in typically male-dominated environments. Hosted by Dr. Shini Somara.

    scilence S2: 83 STEM Education & ROLEMODELS

    scilence S2: 83 STEM Education & ROLEMODELS

    This week my guest is in STEM education and has seen positive change over the last couple of decades.  Despite incremental improvements in gender parity, it is still so important for role models, women in STEM to make themselves known.  
    Girls have traditionally been discouraged into STEM.  Maths and physics are seen as subjects for boys and it has been assumed that girls would find these subjects too difficult.  My guest believes that we should stop being over-consumed with the difficulties of academia and focus more on the bigger opportunities that STEM careers can bring.  
    Careers in STEM allow people to contribute to solving the biggest scientific and technological challenges of our time.  Engineering, is also an industry that effects absolutely everything we do.  Very few people realise just how frequently engineers have influenced most aspects of our lives.  We discuss how important it is to smash through stereotypes and outdated cultural expectations and educate people on the type of jobs people in STEM enjoy and how they are all making a massive positive impact on the planet!  

    • 49 min.
    scilence S2: 82 Health Tech & FAILURE IS LEARNING

    scilence S2: 82 Health Tech & FAILURE IS LEARNING

    This week's podcast is short and sweet, but we still manage to delve into the nitty gritty of how my guest became so successful so soon, in health tech.  She now runs a start-up, after attending one of the most technical colleges in the world.  She admits to reaching a rock bottom of mental health which helped her to put into perspective the things that are a priority in life, including maintaining balance in her work and personal life.  We discuss the importance of failure and not caring too much about the opinions of others.  Interestingly, being a woman in STEM hadn't occurred to her - maybe things are changing? 

    • 45 sec.
    scilence S2: 81 Digital Learning & WARRIOR

    scilence S2: 81 Digital Learning & WARRIOR

    This week, my guest, a woman in tech came from extreme under privilege, where women in her neighbourhood had three choices; sell drugs, strip or prostitute themselves for a living.  Thankfully, her struggle to climb out of this poverty came from her insatiable desire to learn and self-educate.  She has always been a fighter and that has helped her so much as a successful woman in tech.  She no longer takes 'no' for an answer and is proud of being unconventional.  Nothing stops my guest, but she couldn't do any of it without the support of her 28-year marriage, two daughters and the acknowledgement woman helping women; more than ever before.  

    • 1 u. 2 min.
    scilence S2: 80 Biomedical Engineering & KNOWING YOURSELF

    scilence S2: 80 Biomedical Engineering & KNOWING YOURSELF

    My guest this week, a biomedical engineer spent a year getting to know herself by spending time alone.  She got comfortable with hanging with herself and it taught her so much about who she is.  She chose biomedical engineering after suffering from an injury and now loves being able to help others through creative and medical means.  Her class is 40% women and she feels that it is necessary to find mentors and role models who can be in your own corner.  As a result, of having people who believe in er, she now has a clear sense of her own purpose.  We discuss the importance of being curious, hardworking and putting yourself out  there - despite all the self-doubt and over-analysis (classic female traits).  She discusses how terrified she is about fitting in motherhood with career, But she hopes she will have to make the sacrifice one day, because to her, motherhood will be the biggest sacrifice and biggest reward.  

    • 55 min.
    Scilence S2: 80 Computer Engineering & LIVE BETTER

    Scilence S2: 80 Computer Engineering & LIVE BETTER

    My guest this week has been in technology for over 20 years, and as a result has seen a lot of change, panic and progress over the years - Y2K being an example of this.  Her career has changed largely because hardware has evolved too. 
    Despite championing the positive impacts of technology, my guest hopes that it doesn't take over our lives. Back in her day, women were not in STEM subjects, there were either males or non-males, so she was pretty trailblazing in attending an all-girls technical college.  She learned so much, including that girls could do anything. 
    This college was the place to smash through all stereotypes, because they all had to muck-in.   In her experience, girls get far more affected by stereotyping, where we keep having to prove ourselves so much more because there are so few places for us. 
    My guest was raised with the message that girls can do anything boys can do, and hence she wanted a career where she could create something of her own.  She wanted to cross-pollinate interests and challenge the norms.  She is a real problem-solver and has always had a high level of self-esteem. 
    She discusses the predicaments women face after childbirth when returning to work.  Her experience has been that women often come back to work ever more focussed.  Thankfully, she is witnessing that younger generations will not grow up with archaic stereotypes, and there are more and more role models these days, so things are getting better.  She talks about her supportive partner and how instrumental he has been to her career path. 
    The higher you go in seniority, the more you realise how much you don’t know.  Self-doubt seems to be a necessary tool for advancement and there is nothing wrong with it, we just need to be mindful not to identify with it. 
    It is important for her to set the right examples for her daughter.  My guest believes you are born the day your baby is born.  We also discuss having it all and she describes her purpose as being, to live better than she did the day before.

    • 57 min.
    scilence S2: 79 Railway Engineering & REPRESENTING THE FEW

    scilence S2: 79 Railway Engineering & REPRESENTING THE FEW

    My railway engineer knew she wanted to go into STEM from an early age, which meant she should follow a career in medicine.  But she fell into engineering by accident instead, which was actually better suited for her.  She first realised that she was not easily accepted in engineering, when it was assumed that she was the secretary when at a conference. 
    Standing up for your rights requires you to have a keen sense of who you are and my guest now enjoys challenging the stereotypes with her womanliness and big afro hair.  Having felt a lot of academic pressure.  She looks back and wishes she could have done an apprenticeship.  Pressure and bullying made her drop out of school, which made her rethink her priorities.  Onto of those anxieties, she was also caring for her disabled mother and all of this hardship taught her a lot about struggle and failure.  She now has a good relationship with this things now. The net result is that she now takes full ownership of her life and is happy that she can represent the under represented. 
    She has a few mentors for the professional and emotional aspects of her life and highlights that many men have mentors too - its not just a female requirement.  She has learned to have boundaries, which she exercises when at her ‘beer appreciation group’ - which she started herself in order to bond with the guys.  Self-acceptance is at the root of her empowerment.  It took her a while to develop that.  We talk about her romantic relationship and her worry in having kids and how that will affect her career.   But, she’s lucky because her partner is very supportive of having children and being a stay at home dad. 
    My guest believes that we should be empowering men to stay at home without being laughed at.  She hopes that we are getting to a point where men can just be themselves. Let men pursue what they really want when it comes to families and let men bond with their kids, is a good way to go in the future. 

    • 57 min.

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