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International Day of Women and Girls in Science

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Honoring Women’s Contributions to Science and Technology 

While the accomplishments of women in science and technology are, thankfully, being recognized more and more every year, there’s still a long history of gender bias in education and the media that needs to be overcome. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), less than 30 percent of researchers worldwide are currently women, and only around 30 percent of all female students select STEM-related fields in higher education. Globally, female students’ enrolment is particularly low in information and communication technologies (ICT) at 3 percent as well as across natural science, mathematics and statistics (5 percent) and engineering, manufacturing and construction (8 percent).

To help bring needed attention to this gender disparity, the UN established International Day of Women and Girls in Science, celebrated on February 11th every year since 2015 with the vision “to achieve full and equal access and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.” 

While the UN Assembly’s annual commemoration focused on women like Ozlem Turei, who, alongside her husband Ugur Sahin, is credited with development of the Pfizer/BionTech Covid-19 vaccine, we at Entrupy thought it time to shine a spotlight on our own team of superstar engineers who also happen to be women, and share their thoughts and unique experiences as examples of women in science. 

Dharini Raghavan- Software Developer 

How long have you been working for Entrupy? 

4 years

Any favorite projects that you have worked on?

I mainly work on mobile app projects for Entrupy. I really enjoy building a product from scratch, playing around with various software and hardware technologies and trying to make them work for us.

 What was your experience growing up and what attracted or peaked your interest in science?

I’ve always been very inquisitive and questioned everything. Science (Engineering) was an obvious choice for me. 

Who are your favorite women role models? Do you have a favorite women scientist and why?

There are so many!  To name a couple – Shakuntala Devi, aka the human computer was a great Mathematician who was able to perform arithmetic calculations faster than a computer. Another is Kamala Selvaraj, the obstetrician and gynecologist who performed the first in-vitro fertilization procedure in South India.

What has been your experience as a woman in a male dominated field?

In my experience as a woman in a male dominated field, it’s important to feel respected as an individual and a professional who is valued for your work and skills. Thankfully such has been the case in my current and previous jobs.

Soumie Kumar – Software Engineer 

How long have you been working for Entrupy? 

Three and half years.

Any favorite projects that you have worked on?

I was heavily involved in the development of Entrupy Fingerprinting, and loved every minute of working on it. I got the amazing opportunity to see and be part of the project from the very beginning, and had a hand in growing it from an idea into a full-fledged product. The best parts were interactions with customers, who really helped me to understand the requirements and challenges they face so we could  design the app to address those issues.

What was your experience growing up and what attracted or peaked your interest in science?

My parents encouraged me to take science and math classes. Mathematics, especially Calculus, was my favorite thing to study in high school. Science and math have always been my comfort zone, and it always helped me to express myself better.

Who are your favorite women role models? Do you have a favorite women scientist and why?

Michelle Obama. I admire everything about her.

My favorite scientist is Maryam Mirzakhani. She was a brilliant mathematician and was the first woman to win the prestigious Fields Medal. She passed away a few years ago, and it still makes me sad that she was taken away from this world way too soon.

What has been your experience as a woman in a male dominated field?

Women face more challenges. This field has been male dominated for so long that getting ahead for a woman is more difficult, which makes it unnecessarily competitive. Because women aren’t considered for meaningful leadership positions as easily as their male counterparts, we often see rivalry instead of collaboration in the workplace. It’s not good because there is already so little representation in this field, and if you see such negativities as bias, hyper-competitiveness, and jealousy, then that doesn’t encourage young minds to be a part of it.

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