Hi, I’m Sunzida! For the next few weeks, I’ll be discussing the importance of women in STEM, from the struggles women and young girls come across pursuing careers in technology to inspirational women within the STEM industry who have accomplished a lot by demonstrating innovation. This is all in preparation for the ‘She Who Innovates’ event being held on the 28th September by the Us Programme, an event advocating the pertinence of STEM throughout all fields, along with inspiring young girls to take and develop their interests in such a male-dominated field.
I first discovered the Us Programme when Victoria (founder of the Us Programme) visited my college promoting ‘She Who Wins’. Curious, but apprehensive, I applied to partake in the event and needless to say, it was fantastic. The event challenged me to collaborate within a team, which I had never been particularly fond of, in order to pitch a piece of merchandise to sell to major sports brands, somewhat Dragon’s Den-esque. I found that co-operating within a team actually had its perks - we all had different ideas that amalgamated together, and we were also able to assign each other’s roles based on our individual skills. For instance, I was in charge of the actual pitching due to my confidence in public speaking, whereas another girl was in charge of the design and aesthetic due to her artistic skills. Together, we were able to formulate a rewarding pitch, one that we were prepared for and confident presenting.
However, the best aspect of the Us Programme for me that has continued my longevity in staying involved is the sheer solidarity that shines through in every event. In every single event I’ve attended, I’ve always felt comfortable, and safe in being myself, surrounded by women who support each other, who lift each other up. The Us Programme is excellent in showing young girls that they are capable, that they are powerful, and that they will be heard, if they allow themselves to be. They’ve taught me that in this patriarchal, institutionalised society, that yes, women should not have to fight to be listened to and merited for their abilities, women should not have to fight to not be sexualised or treated as commodities, but we must. Not just to prove to society, but also to prove to ourselves that we are not self fulfilling prophecies. We are not susceptible to expectation, and we are ready to combat the obstacles that the status quo throws at us to accomplish our true aspirations, regardless of who says otherwise.
I’m excited to share my thoughts throughout the next two blog posts, about women in STEM whom I view as inspirations along with elaborating on why She Who Innovates is such a pertinent event to be holding. It’s fun to open up a discussion so stay tuned!
Until next time, Sun~
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