My STEM Experience
As a woman in a STEM career, my experience, or my story, like many others, is unique to me. My professional story includes having two jobs during my career, with a gap, when I was fortunate enough to pause and spend time with my young daughters.
Areas that helped move me forward as I transitioned back into the workforce included a tremendous amount of support from my husband and my family. I would not be in the position that I am now, nor performing at the level I am, without the support of my family. Studying for and passing the PMP exam was an accreditation that not only bolstered my self-confidence, but also demonstrated to me that I still had the ability to have a career as I started to re-enter the workforce.
Through professional relationships, I was able to join S&P Global, initially as a consultant and then as a full time employee. My story has been filled with many successes and firsts, as well as setbacks and failures. Each experience provided me the opportunity to grow, collaborate, learn, and coach others.
What I would like your readers to know about being a woman in a STEM career in 2020 is that it is not only rewarding, but also challenging, as the discipline is evolving so quickly due to automation. As my daughter says, it may not be rainbows and chocolate all of the time; be prepared for that. When possible, seek out mentors or leaders within your organization who can support you; in turn, you should also be a mentor to other women in your organization.
Women in STEM 5 Years down the Road
In five years, I see women in STEM closing the pay parity gap, more women leaders, and more women being recruited into these fields. I think our experience with COVID-19 will be a contributing factor to more women embracing STEM. Early childhood and higher education will be forever changed, with the acceptance of hybrid learning delivered through technology. Our mothers, daughters, fathers of daughters, and brothers of sisters who have been exposed to STEM will help make our future workforce more diverse, accepting, and supportive. Women may continue to be underrepresented in fields like engineering and computer science, but I believe growth will continue.