Top Tips to Accelerate Women’s Growth in STEM

by May 22, 2020


We are in the third decade of the 21st century. For the past couple of decades, we have witnessed huge changes in the field of science, technology, art, politics and leadership, and entertainment. Although these have impacted our lives, it is ironic that after years of fighting for equal rights for women, we fail to achieve the same even this date. Women make up to one-third of the cut in STEM organizations and firms. At least we can try to ensure that the female minds are adequately nurtured, counseled, provided with encouragement to build and excel in the profession of their choice. This will help in better job diversity ratios and inspire others to follow the footsteps:

Here are some tips one can follow for a better career experience:

• Avoid underestimating yourself: Being born in a stereotypical environment, females often are subjected to the thought of being inferior in skills and talent than their male counterparts. You must have faith in yourself and try to branch out as much as possible. Be resilient and focus on yourself.

• Telegraph Confidence: While discrimination may be likely to exist in the workplace or not. The key to survival is having strong will power and ooze confidence. As it will help in leaps to progress and showcase your skills. Besides, it can also mean that workplace bullies will have a hard time trying to bring you down. Avoid filler words. Rethink the exclamation, emojis, and statement turned interrogatives in your emails. Know your audience and how to motivate them. Show your love for challenges.

• Claim Credit for your Ideas and Contributions: Because of being valued as less-significant, ideas of the female employees are not often paid heed to. Even in the research sector, the contributions of women do not receive recognition and acclamation as they should or are subdued as the work of males while downgrading the work of women as work of an assistant or so. Hence, you must learn to stand by your ideas. Participate in conferences, meetings and speak up. Re-engage, demonstrate the ability to advance it, and continue to move the conversation forward. This will surely prevent your efforts and minimize such instances in the future.

• Streamline Yourself: Career is like a journey in which we are responsible for most of the percentage. You must think about who you want to be and what you wish to contribute to your chosen field. This will help gain control over what results you want to see and how to improve your performance abilities and be your critic. You need to have your career GPS.

• Ask for it: Learn to ask for that pay raise, weekly feedback. If you aren’t sure you understand the goal or your instructions, ask for clarification. Remember you are not the only one who is struggling. Seek help if required. It won’t make you less of an employee. You must grasp as many opportunities as possible. It is about displaying potential and not just getting the job done.

• Stand up and Report against harassment: Workplace racial and sexual harassment should never go unnoticed. Realize that it is not your fault if you are being exploited. Non-Documentation of such cases by HR or concern authorities will lead to sliming the chances of having a diverse and safe team.

• Explore various STEM jobs and positions: STEM does not have opportunities like medicine, engineering, technician, etc. There are numerous sectors where work needs to be done. From accounting to communications, and from finance to human resources, and you can find a place that fits you by exploring the options. Try to seek employment opportunities in companies with great cultural inclusivity, higher disability index besides compensation parity, D&I initiatives, training, and benefits. Use LinkedIn, Glassdoor to research about the organization be the big interview.

• Develop your profile: Learn to communicate effectively. Educate yourself about occupational scopes. Learn to say ‘No’ when you don’t want to pursue something. Don’t default to saying ‘it’s ok’ or ‘no big deal’ unless you mean it. Cultivate a growth mindset. Brand your skillset and expand it. Take criticism positively. Be patient about results. Have realistic expectations. Opt for collaborative leadership and be authentic, as they have larger impacts.

• Network and Network! : Ask your contemporaries, colleagues, and seniors to explain to you about their roles, experience, and professional advice. Build a peer network. Share, them your aspirations and enthusiasm to learn. Be open and honest. Most of the people who we work with are always keen to talk about their journey, advice on how to close career gaps, offer help and guidance. Although it may seem transactional and difficult to burst out of the comfort zone, especially when you are an introvert. However, networking is worth it. You may get to know about better job opportunities from your circle, sponsorships, better exchange, and backing of ideas enable smooth collaboration, recovery from mistakes, connect with senior and exemplary leaders and much more.

There is nothing one can excel at once one sets a mind and possesses determination. Figure out your calling and capitalize it. So, it is time to buckle up and march forth and be the better version of yourself. Inspire and be inspired!