International Women’s Day is a time for women in STEM to reflect on the progress that has been made and the progress that is still to be made in achieving gender equality in these academic fields. Donna Lyndsay, the Strategic Market Lead for Environment & Sustainability at Ordnance Survey, has written an article exploring ways to encourage and empower women in STEM. The article covers the importance of merging educational passion with expertise, the skills and traits that women in STEM possess and need to cultivate, honing skills in STEM, and overcoming insecurities and anxieties in STEM.
Importance of Merging Educational Passion with Expertise
Lyndsay stresses that merging passion with expertise is crucial for women in STEM to grow both personally and professionally. Pursuing higher education at any point in a career can provide a wealth of resources, including workshops, internships, and networking opportunities that can help gain new knowledge and skills while connecting with like-minded individuals in the field. Mentoring and a strong support system can also be invaluable when navigating career challenges and obstacles.
Women’s Skills and Traits are in Demand
Lyndsay outlines the skills and traits that are highly valued in the rapidly evolving world of geospatial and earth observation data. She identifies that a strategic and systems-thinking approach, commercial acumen, technical knowledge, curiosity, and market knowledge are highly prized. By possessing these key skills and traits, women in STEM can position themselves for success in any STEM field of their choosing.
Honing Your Skills in STEM
There are many ways for women to hone their skills in the areas outlined by Lyndsay. Pursuing higher education, cultivating curiosity, attending industry events, and connecting with other professionals in the field are some of the ways to stay current with the latest developments and trends in these fields. To develop a strategic and systems-thinking approach, women in STEM can seek opportunities to work on cross-functional teams and take on leadership roles.
Overcoming Insecurities and Anxieties in Your Field
Lyndsay acknowledges that insecurities and anxieties are normal and can be overcome. Exposing oneself to uncomfortable situations and pushing through the discomfort can help build confidence and overcome fears. Women in STEM should not be afraid to seek out opportunities to practice and improve personal skills, such as joining a public speaking club or taking on leadership roles in projects or teams. Mental health and well-being must be taken care of, and finding healthy ways to manage is essential.