What were the reasons for starting your page?
KM: Greek Women In STEM aims to promote women in science. The soul of this effort is Lina Dokou, who conceived the idea of the whole project. Not long after, her vision inspired the rest of us and that’s how this team started. It is with great pleasure that we realize more and more women are constantly embracing our effort!
NP: Have you ever heard the excuse “but we cannot find women, there are not enough!” for the under-representation or absence of women in panels, as keynote speakers at conferences, awards, writing groups, and consortia of research projects? We find them and present them through our page and actions so that one day this excuse will no longer be considered acceptable.
What can be found on the Greek Women in STEM page?
KM: Interviews from great women researchers, articles that popularize scientific news, seminars, events, and the free counseling program for everyone. In general, we aspire to increase the rate of women’s participation in the sciences and encourage them by promoting their significant achievements. In every way possible, we promote the discussion and exchange of experiences of women involved in STEM research and science, mainly through the podcasts on our page.
NP: The role of Greek Women in STEM has two sides: to highlight women researchers and their work, making it accessible to the general public, and to create a network of mutual support between women studying or working in these fields. So on our page, you can find:
- Interviews with researchers (written and in podcast format)
- News from various fields of research in accessible language and style and articles concerning the professional development of women in research, science and technology
- A counseling program where experienced researchers and professionals can advise anyone who wishes on specific issues related to their professional development
In short, what we are trying to do is to create a warm and supportive community, to lift each other up as we climb to the top!
What would be your advice to girls who want to become scientists but are hesitant?
KM: I would advise them to reconsider the reasons why they hesitate and whether these reasons are ultimately important in order to determine the rest of their lives! If I look back and think about why I could be hesitant to pursue a medical degree, I realize how different I thought my obstacles would be from what the reality is. In any case, we need advice from people who intend to share their experiences to give us an extra perspective on the matter. That’s why – in the counseling program of Greek Women In STEM – we chose to become the mentors we would like to have back then!
NP: DO NOT HESITATE! Ok, seriously now, my advice is to get started, if that appeals to them anyway. Do things with the first and main condition being that you like what you are doing, that this gives you pleasure, and it makes you feel that you have accomplished something.
And then, once you get started, never hesitate to ask for help. Working and progressing in a male-dominated area is difficult and requires allies and companions. Find these allies and form these relationships with colleagues, girlfriends, and mentors. From taking care of a student job in the university to career change tips, everything has already been done by someone else who can and wants to help you. Ask, talk!
Finally, and most importantly, do not be afraid of mistakes and failures, do as much as you can and as early as possible. If you try one science and it does not work out, well perfect, now you know that this science is not meant for you and you can try another.
Cover designed by: Victoire Douy