Every year, we celebrate the International Women’s Day on March 8. The internet gets inundated with posts after posts, that talk about great women, and how they have inspired, motivated, and helped other women push their boundaries.
“I didn’t get there by wishing for it for hoping for it, but by working for it” – Estee Lauder, Founder of Estee Lauder Companies (Fortune 500 company)
While Women’s Day gives us the opportunity to think about all the women who have changed the course of history, it is just one day of blink-and-you-miss the thing kind of situation.
Incredible women need to be celebrated every month, every day, and at every opportunity. With that thought in mind, I want to share some of the top women from the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM), who have inspired me.
1. Augusta Ada King – Also known as Ada Lovelace, Augusta Ada King was known for writing the first every computer algorithm during her collaboration with Charles Babbage on the proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Born to Lord Byron – a well-known poet, it was her mother who prioritized her education in Mathematics.
2. Susan Kare – We can’t live without our smartphones, tablets, desktops, laptops, and other gadgets with screens. But did you know the person behind the screen (no pun intended) was a woman? You read it right. Susan Kare is an inspirational designer, known for creating famous icons that have stood the test of time. This includes the Mac trash can icon, the pointing “paste” hand, and the scissors. Ever since 1983, she has been instrumental in designing icons for several leading software firms in the world.
3. Dr. Habiba Alsafar – According to 2019 data from the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects 16.3% of the UAE adult population. Dr. Habiba Alsafar, director of the Center for Biotechnology at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, led a critical research that found the types of genes commonly found in Emiratis make them more susceptible to the disease. The Dubai-born expert in genetics and molecular biology had shown great promise at ta young age, receiving scholarships to study in the USA. Currently, she mentors science and Ph.D. students and has helped the UAE government design a response plan to the coronavirus pandemic.
4. Dr. Irit Yaniv – Dr. Yani along with her business partners Amir Blatt and Tzahi Sultan founded Almeda Ventures. The equity partnership fund is the first R and D partnership of its kind, with a focus on life sciences, especially medical devices and digital health. The visionary leader also joined forces with two other industry leaders Dorit Sokolov, Yael Gruenbaum-Cohen and Ronit Harpaz to start WE@HealthTech. It is an initiative to assist junior female managers get the tools they need to reach more senior positions.
There are many women like these four, who have actively contributed to the field of STEM. However, the road to close the gender gap is a long one, with socio-cultural barriers that still restrict many of them realizing their full potential. It is the need of the hour to make the necessary efforts to help women in STEM to come to the forefront so that they can achieve their goals.
Let’s take one step at a time, and make this happen.