One of my strongest held convictions is that we have the most powerful influence on the world we live in. We are in control of how we treat each other, our society, and our environment. It is therefore up to us to take action against what is wrong in our world. One of the things we need to take action against is inequality in the workplace.
Every day, millions of women work incredibly hard to research and improve the overall health of our planet and how we can constantly become better. Despite this, women face an incredible amount of challenges on a daily basis, from being excluded or treated as inferior, experiencing a difference in pay, and being required to work harder for certain opportunities.
As a woman in STEM, I have heard other women’s stories about how they’re “just a girl” or how they felt they weren’t able keep up with their male coworkers. Hearing these stories saddens me but motivates me as well. I strive to not compare myself to anyone, regardless of gender. Instead, I try to just focus on letting my hard work and motivation define the person I am becoming. I believe in fairness and giving people a chance, so I try to translate these values in my daily life. I try to compliment my peers if they did a good job, check in with people who may be feeling like they aren’t enough, and serve as a role model for others.
Observing the way the women in my life have achieved amazing things in their fields is truly an inspiration. I am surrounded by female nurses, doctors, and aspiring environmental engineers. I have had lunch with those who wish to become math teachers, digital forensic investigators, and physician’s assistants. Women have made such great strides and their efforts have totally revolutionized science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
This revolution begins with all of us.
Not only do I foresee a world where men and women are treated equally, but one where humans, animals, and the living world around us coexist in paramount harmony and peace. We just have to work hard, and more importantly, work together, to attain that goal.
Have you ever faced discrimination at work or in the field that you’re interested in because of your gender or any of your identities? What motivates you to achieve the things that you’re passionate about?