In examining the successes of a female icon in S.T.E.M, most people might wish to put her in the spotlight with a lot of questions about how she attained such global fame. Beyond the achievements, there are many other interesting facts about the woman in S.T.E.M. that are quite uncommon from the general point of views.
The answers to why we have few women in STEM and Why we need more women in STEM has been attempted by many that it has suddenly become a major subject gluing the minds of people to deep study and research. While this arouses so much curiosity, it is also important to discover the unconventional things that characterize these women.
The S.T.E.M field is an interesting field despite the fact that it is being treated with so much rigidity and seriousness that many seem not to think that there are more fascinating things to observe in these fields especially in the lives of women involved in STEM-related jobs.
Beyond this curiosity and questions that surround the woman in S.T.E.M; there are other vital yet silent distinctions about the woman in S.T.E.M.
Below are 7 things you don’t know about a woman in S.T.E.M.
- They don’t like their successes to be overrated: The general belief that men perform better than women in math and science fields has been given as one of the reasons why the achievements of most women in S.T.E.M is sometimes overly blown out of proportion. Women in S.T.E.M believe and understand that women generally have the capacity to think outside the box; hence the generation of scientific ideas should not be seen as a one-off occurrence when women are considered. To term the invention of a woman as a “once in a lifetime achievement” while she is still in her prime can be a non-motivating factor even if it is meant in an attempt to praise her. A larger population of women in S.T.E.M fields would not appreciate being addressed as abnormal just because they have chosen an S.T.E.M-related field of study. This is usually because they would not like their works to be undermined while being compared to the achievement of their male counterpart. Most successful women in S.T.E.M see their achievements as rewards for sticking to their passion, so terming it as a one-off success attained with a lot of stress might make light of the physical and intellectual effort they have put into their inventions.
- They have unanswered questions: Even though some women in S.T.E.M may be adorned with confidence, behind this extraordinary confidence displayed by these women in S.T.E.M fields, are unanswered questions that scream out for answers. Women who have ventured into S.T.E.M careers have realized that the S.T.E.M field is not actually a no-go area for women as it is sometimes, generally believed by most people, so this raises the question of why the society view women in this field the way they do. Most women in S.T.EM want the answer to these questions; where do we stand? What led us here? Where do we go from here? The search for identity presents itself always as a question on the minds of most women in S.T. E.M. Operating in a male-dominated field can be sometimes intimidating hence, the need for the search for identity and belonging. Female students in S.T.E.M related fields have more of this unanswered question to deal with as they keep wondering why men feel intimidated by their choice of study. Sometimes they pause and ponder “am I actually being judged for my career selection?”
Nevertheless, this search for identity helps these women in S.T.E.M identify and discover their uniqueness as well as appreciate their problem-solving skills.
- They wished they had more time for their families: T.E.M fields require a whole lot of time investment both in studies and practice. It is true that every woman in ST.E.M wants to be the boss manager of her home as well as top-notch in her job, but considering the demanding nature of S.T.E.M jobs, women are most times placed in a “state of wishes” when it comes to having enough time for their families. It is not wrong to say that women will always possess “the mother feel” whether she is a woman in S.T.E.M or not; therefore the desire to remain the perfect model to her family will always remain vital to the woman in S.T.E.M. Notwithstanding, most successful women in S.T.E.M have identified a level playing ground in the place of sacrifice for their career and family life, even though they nurse deep desires to spend more time with family.
- They do twice as well as men to be recognized: Women in S.T.E.M put in more effort than they ordinarily should, maybe even more than most men would, in order to gain acceptance and recognition in their field. They value and appreciate the time spent in their career and constantly try to show that they are well fitted for S.T.E.M jobs. Considering the fact that women are still under-represented in S.T.E.M fields, they try twice as hard as men to earn recognition.
- Mentorship increases their Consistency: Excelling in a patriarchal dominated system can be very tough for some women in S.T.E.M but it will be less stressful if they have mentors who have excelled in S.T.E.M fields. Women in S.T.E.M are consistent in their career because they know they inspire people. A great priority for all S.T.E.M stakeholders, corporations, higher education institutions, and even government is retention and mentors serve as key components in facilitating retention, as well as increasing consistency of upcoming women in S.T.E.M.
- They are great networkers: The successes of women in S.T.E.M prove that “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” Networking is very important in all works of life but it is even more needful in STEM fields because it needs the evolvement and development of new positions to meet the demanding needs of the market. These women constantly take conscious steps to connect amongst themselves in order to, promote relationships that boost and impact positively on the scientific development of the world. Women in S.T.E.M always seek to establish common grounds amongst each order in order to increase witty inventions. Initiatives such as national girls’ collaborative project, national math and science initiative, women in engineering proactive network and so on have been designed to suit the networking needs of women in S.T.E.M.
- T.E.M women are Fun-filled People: Many find it difficult to believe there are other interesting aspects in the lives of women in S.T.E.M asides the lab and her home. Being in Science and technology sphere does not exempt the woman in S.T.E.M from other fun activities. It’s not a surprise to know that outside the four walls of her laboratory is her hockey or golf kit ready to explore some fun.
I bet you did not know the above things could be associated with the seriousness attached to S.T.E.M; nevertheless, these unconventional things improve the diversity of S.T.E.M fields, thereby enhancing scientific innovations in the world. Women in S.T.E.M do not just add to the number in S.T.E.M but they spice up this field in a superb way; paving the way for more women to become trailblazers in a supposedly patriarchal system.
By Eloke-Young Splendor