Today is International Day of Women and Girls in Science. To help celebrate this important date, Ramya Rajendran, Panametrics Software Engineering Leader based in Billerica, MA gave us her thoughts on the importance of Women & Girls in Science:
Q:How did you get started in software engineering?
As a student, I found myself highly engaged in science classes. Mathematics wasn't as natural and easy as science for me. But I enjoyed the math challenges too! So, I chose to do my degree Electronics Engineering and Masters in Advanced Communication Technologies. Over the course of my Engineering, I had learnt a few programming languages. I cherished my experiences designing my first software for a 2-way radio.
Q: Were you always interested in technology? What sparked your interest?
As a child, I loved engaging in creative work, solving puzzles and navigating through mazes. I liked science, experiments and problem solving. I was also intrigued by the power of a human brain and maintaining a healthy and active brain. I wanted a career that bundled all of my interests together and here I am, doing software engineering that is total package of all my interests.
Q: As a female software engineer, would you consider yourself relatively unique?
Female engineers are a small percentage in the massively male dominant industry. But I believe the Technology industry is actively seeking to close the gender gap and welcoming female engineers. Working in Baker Hughes as a female software engineer, I feel proud and accomplished!
Q: What would you say to encourage young women to go into a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field?
I grew up in India at times when majority of the women dropped out of school or got a degree just to be able to help their kids at school and held a "house-wife" job. Parents, relatives, and social norms had a great deal of influence in the career choices too. My aunt who had a Nursing degree succumbing to the social norms, quit her job, and stayed home taking care of her kids. I remember a day, when I visited her while she was undergoing cancer treatment and a statement, she made struck me hard! She said "Women should strive hard to be financially independent. We are highly capable and can excel in any career, but we are easily influenced by social norms and choose to comply. I could have challenged the norm, instead I complied and lost my financial independence. Ensure you challenge the norms and demand that financial independence!" I took that advice very seriously!!
My love for creative work, problem solving, exploring the power of human brain and my Aunt's advice led me to Software Engineering!
Your love and passion can make a positive difference in your life and touch other people's life too! STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) presents wide variety of options that will fit your unique passion and needs. Explore your options!!
Q: Are you hiring? 😊
Yes, I am! Let's team up!