Lately I have been trying to figure out how to incorporate more science related posts into my blog. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to start a series of spotlights involving women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). I started off interviewing my friends and I hope to expand this series to include professionals! I hope you enjoy this series!
For my first interview, I spoke with my friend Eileen!
Name: Eileen Chen
Field of STEM: Environmental Science
Eileen in her natural environment
Describe yourself in three words?
Big Tree Hugger
What sparked your interest in your field?
Growing up, I've always liked science subjects and playing outside. I guess I just combined those two likes into a program. It’s really something I always saw myself going into.
What would your dream job be?
My dream job would be to work with people and in the great outdoors; a job that requires me to do half office work and half fieldwork.
What are the best and worst parts about being a woman in STEM?
The best part about being a woman in STEM is the opportunity to show people that science is for any gender. Everyone likes to think that Engineering and Technology is filled with men, but in fact more and more women go into these fields every year and it’s great to see. The worst part about being a woman in STEM is that sometimes, there is still discrimination towards women whether it is less pay or the fact that if you go on maternity leave, you might not be guaranteed a job afterwards.
Who are your biggest supporters?
My biggest supporters would have to be my parents and my professors. My parents have always told me to do the stuff I like and are interested in. The professors that I’ve had over the years at University of Windsor have been great. They really care about their students and want to see each and every one of them succeed.
What advice would you give to girls who are intimidated to pursue a career in STEM?
I would say do whatever makes you happy despite when your gender is. There are always going to be obstacles in any field you go into. As long as the program is right for you and you know that you can make something of it, then it shouldn't matter what the other people think. You must accept yourself first before others can accept you.
When will you know that you've made it?
When I am doing something meaningful and making changes in the world, I will know I have made it.
Keep up with Eileen on Twitter!