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Happy Women’s History Month to all our readers!
Continuing our Diversity in Technology Scholarship blog series, we are excited to introduce the recipients of the 2020 Women in Technology Scholarship Program. We launched the Cadence Women in Technology Scholarship program in 2018 to support and celebrate young women who are starting their careers in technology. Over the years, we have featured these exceptional pathbreakers, future leaders in our blogs and learned inspiring life lessons from them. This year’s batch of scholarship recipients are no exception, we had the opportunity to ask these inspiring scholars about their passion, vision for the future, and advice to other young women in technology. Read on to learn more.
My biggest passion is improving people's day-to-day lives through technology. I am constantly compelled to build to improve the world. That's my goal when I get my degree - to act on real-world problems and build solutions for them, whether as an engineer or entrepreneur. It's the reason I decided to study Computer Science. Push through people's perceptions of you because their thoughts are not reflective of your abilities. When I reflect back on the challenges I’ve faced as a woman in Computer Science, I also like to think back on my accomplishments and how deeply I aspire to push other women to pursue the same goals. At the end of the day, it's other women who keep me going - I want to succeed as an engineer so that I can be an inspiration to them.
My parents were the primary source of inspiration for me in pursuing engineering. After learning how to code, I was fascinated by the power of a few lines of code which motivated me to go deeper in the field. My advice to women in engineering would be to believe in yourself, support each other, and do not let the stereotypes hold you back.
Some of the advice I received changed the way I thought about learning and pursuing an engineering-related degree. Finding like-minded individuals, peers and mentors is very helpful in learning about opportunities, building momentum, keeping up with the rigor of your program and having a support system of people you share similar experiences and backgrounds. If you find yourself doubting your capabilities, comfort yourself with the thought that you are just giving it a try and have nothing to lose. In challenging times of fight or flight, fight for what you truly wish to pursue and choose to fly out of things that hold you back. Stereotypes are here to be broken and when you empower yourself you motivate those around you to break barriers as they witness your growth and humility.
Since I was very young, I have always had a passion for nature and the environment. As I grew older, I learned of the dire reality of climate change and immediately felt drawn to combatting it. The question was not what did I want to do -- the question was how I would serve the cause of environmental protection. My high school chemistry teacher was the person who encouraged me that it was possible to combine this love for the environment with my natural inclinations toward math and science. Because of this, I am pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Renewable Electric Energy Systems.
As a kid, my role model was Marie Curie and I was amazed by her dedication and contribution to the humanity. This made me inquisitive about the science around me. Growing up, I became more passionate in technology and I was fascinated by how it affects the quality of life. I wanted to learn how things work and create new technology to make the world a better place. I am looking forward to explore and solve new research problems, which will ultimately help achieve my motto "serving humanity through technology".
I discover my passion for Computer Science almost by chance. My high school started offering extracurricular classes to prepare students for programming competitions, and since I already took part in Maths contests and loved it, I immediately enrolled. For the first time I found something that I wanted to do long term; I studied algorithms for countless hours and I've obtained really good results, among all a gold medal in the national Italian Olympiad in Informatics, thanks to which I was later selected to represent my country at the Central European Olympiads in Informatics. Being one of the few women studying computer science was not easy: I often had to face prejudices, and insinuations about the fact that my successes were just due to some sort of "gender quota". I did the mistake of becoming obsessed with this sort of comments and having to prove them wrong. I think the best advice would be to learn to ignore them and do what you actually like, rather than just what is considered most prestigious.
I was curious about the world and science helped me understand many of the amazing things around us. My fascination grew as I learned more about the potential it has to create solutions for a better life and this led me to pursue a degree in engineering. My advice would be to be kind to yourself and the people around you. Also, believe in yourself; don’t wait for somebody else to believe in you.
There is always a greater sense of accomplishment and joy, when the problems get harder. While being underrepresented makes the situation at hand more challenging, always remember that you are not alone. There are several successful people who have gone through this before us. There are several going through this journey with us and there will be several who will look up to us to be their inspiration. Always try to do your best and stay connected with like minded people - student organizations provide a great platform to do so. Last but not least, We always need a support network to encourage, support and keep us going.
I would advise women to never let anyone classify and tell you that you might not be good at achieving your aim. Believe in yourself. You have come a long way and keep moving forward. Always remember the proverb "The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
Be confident in your ability and try to spend some time on self-reflection. Remember that your instinct should guide you. Try to accept the challenges in life to reach your goal. If possible, make a strong network and try to reach out to others when you need help. Finally, when you become successful, don’t forget to lend a hand to others in times of need.
It was my father that has the biggest influence on me to pursue a technical degree. He devoted his life to be a circuit designer, a software developer and businessman. When I was a little kids, I was helping him to solder a PCB. From my point of view, those components on the PCB board is like some magic. They create power, they build product, and they benefit people’s daily life. So, I was dreaming to become an engineer like my father when I was a kid and teenager. From then on, pursuing a technical degree, becoming an good engineer and building things became my lifelong interests and goals. Show your passion, build up your knowledge, and explore what you love. There is always a place for you. You are not alone.
I love trying to solve existing challenging problems in innovative technological ways which can be impactful to the world, motivating me to take up a technical degree. I believe perseverance, dedication and hard work triumphs over all; and hence, people should get together, help each other up and show everyone what they are capable of!
The ubiquitous impact of technological advancements in our day to day lives and their widespread applications has always attracted me. My interests in both theoretical understanding and applying theories for real-life applications influenced me to pursue a technical degree. My advice for underrepresented groups pursuing an engineering-related degree would be: never let others solely decide for you of what you should be doing with your career. Follow the path which interests you most. The social stereotype of women being less suited for technical works is a complete misconception. I have learned this clearly throughout my journey as a woman in STEM.
I believe technological advancement contributes to social changes. I would like to be within the social force that brings a better standard of living and fairer access to social resources to the general public. I am especially interested in sensing systems, believing in its potential in revolutionizing our lifestyles. Being the minority in a STEM program might look intimidating. But you don't have to take all the pressure by yourself. People are out there willing to lend a helping hand as long as you keep faith in your career choice and outwardly express your worries.
My passion for research is what influenced me. When I decided to pursue a Ph.D. degree, I've worked for two years and my parents also asked me to think twice. It is hard for me to leave home to study in American for five years or even longer. But I asked myself, do I have a passion for research? Is it a lifelong regret if I don't pursue this dream? The answer is yes! I then remained steadfast in my plan. Passion and interest are the only prerequisites for studying technology, and consistent hardworking is the only way to achieve excellence. Don't constrain ourselves.
Some of our scholars graciously volunteered to get on camera and talk to us about their life experiences. Enjoy!
Congratulations to all our scholarship winners and thank you for inspiring us and future women leaders. Watch this space for details on how to apply for 2021 scholarship.