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If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate


My parents are scientists. My mother has a background in chemical engineering and a PhD in gene therapy and my father is an immunologist; the two of them have lived and breathed empirical evidence since NASA started slinging people to the moon. In a microcosm like this where nobody in the household needed to fight for equality because it was already ingrained, it never occurred to me that there was a professional and educational gender gap outside our four walls. Well, not until I joined the workforce.

In 2020, I’d have liked to believe in a world of implicit gender parity the way I did when I was eight years old, where we’d collectively celebrate “People in Science” because women in science weren’t still a minority requiring their own distinct day. Five years ago, February 11th became The International Day of Women and Girls in Science by resolution of The United Nations General Assembly(1) which paradoxically serves to remind me that on the order of gender equality, we’re not quite there yet.

Men still grossly outnumber women among those pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).(2) These numbers are even more skewed for women of colour. But my hope and my belief is that our presence as minorities in the fields above could shift so wholly toward a point of equality where we’d no longer require special acknowledgement of our technical enterprise -the way male politicians and businessmen don’t need special recognition of theirs.

So, how do we get there? I can think of a few ways:

1. Hire high potential women and retain them by recognizing their value and showing interest in their development and long-term success through fair and supportive evaluations, timely promotions, and ongoing investment in their education.

2. Pay them equally and pay them for the type of women’s professional work that so often goes uncompensated, e.g. informal favors, social organizing of colleagues.

3. Support women in becoming leaders through mentorship and training programs and acknowledgement of the value of women’s unique types of leadership.

4. Give women a safe and empowered platform to be seen and heard in educational and work spaces.

5. Support the family unit, which includes generous maternity and paternity leave, ample childcare options, and flexible work schedules conducive to family life.

6. Encourage those in leadership positions to openly uplift women.

While today I support and acknowledge the value of an internationally dedicated day to Women and Girls in Science, I look forward to a future where women in STEM will be so equivalently a part, that the need for formally explicating our position will naturally fade away.

Because every day will be our day.

References

1. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 22 December 2015. Seventieth session Agenda item 22 (b). General Assembly, United Nations. Retrieved 2019-10-25. https://undocs.org/A/RES/70/21...

2. https://www.catalyst.org/resea...

Signed by:

Francesco Giardiello, Production Workflow and Imaging Specialist, NETFLIX, Mark Kramer, PhD, Chief Engineer, MITRE Corporation; Panagiotis Vekris, PhD, Software Engineer, Facebook; Ewen Sturgeon, CEO, Wunderman Thompson, EMEA; Elyse Homel, MPH, Executive Director, CCFP Roundtable, USA WJW Morrow, PhD, DSc, FRCPath, Visiting Professor, Centre for Host Microbiome Interactions, Faculty of Dentistry, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences, King's College London; Shoaib Munir, PhD, Physics Professor, East African Institute for Fundamental Research, Rwanda; Dr Salman Razzaki, MBBS BSc (Hons), Digital Health Consultant, Hardian Health; Robert Deeb, Lead DataOps Engineer Company Operations, Astronomer, Inc. USA; Dr Annalisa Inversetti, OBGYN Department, ASST Vimercate, Lombardy Italy; Joanna Lamprou, Doctor of Pharmacy, Pharmacy Manager, CVS Health USA; Laine Munir, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, Center of Excellence in Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management (CoEB), Univ. of Rwanda; Dr Anna Schumann, Anaesthetics Trainee, Barts Health NHS Trust; Giulio Cavalli, MD PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Unit of Immunology, Rheumatology, Allergy and Rare Diseases (UnIRAR), IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University Milan, Italy; Renée Pasciuta, Clinical Microbiologist, Microbiology and Virology Unit, San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy; Dr. Marco D'Amato, GP, Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust & Babylon Health; Dr Ieuan Walker, Academic Clinical Fellow in Haematology, Addenbrooke’s Hospital and The University of Cambridge; Alissa Stearman, Executive Operations, Sweetgreen USA; Marah Connole LCPC, LAC, Element Counseling and Wellness, USA. Anna M. Abai, MSc, PhD, Research Scientist III, MilliporeSigma, USA. Jason Bootle, Freelance Product & Service Designer.

    Babylonians:

    Dr Ali Parsa, CEO; Dr Keith Grimes, Doctor and Clinical Artificial Intelligence and Innovation Director at Babylon; Dr Caroline Hargrove, Chief Technology Officer; Dr Mobasher Butt, Chief Medical Officer, Tahnee Anderson, Culture and Engagement Lead; Chloe Le Baigue, Clinical AI Fellowship Programme Manager; Gemma Sutton, Senior Product Designer; Marcus Gustavsson, Senior Platform Engineer; Sofia Bafaloukou, Paralegal; Adam Wilson, Project Manager, Professional Services; Kyle Buttner, Product Manager, Developer Experience; Ricky Pannu, Talent Lead; Dimitrios Papatheodorou, Senior Software Engineer; Maryam Hasan, Clinical AI Fellow; Andromachi Kaltampani, Quality Manager; Dr Dan Mullarkey, Clinical Product Manager; Dr Adam Bozson, Research Scientist; Lauren Yew, Senior Android & iOS Engineer; Zinaida Zukova, Customer Operations Manager, Professional Services; Dr Edward Sykes, PR & Comms Lead; Jim McCarthy-Cheung, CRM Manager; Lisha Zhang, Software Engineer at Babylon Health; Liam Grogan, Senior Platform Engineer; Jack Burnett, Software Engineer; Sophie Crane, People Operations Senior Associate; Batsirai Mutasa, Epidemiologist; Stefano Sergio, Senior Software Engineer; Cian Hussami, Project Operations Analyst, Professional Services; Martin Robbins, Senior Product Manager, CHR; Rebecca Sells, Clinical Product Manager, CHR; Georgia Kent-Braham, Senior Product Designer; Dr Claudia Schulz, Lead Research Scientist; Dr Domenico Corapi, Lead Engineer; Hannah Cooper, Software Engineer; Mina Kwoczynska-Dratwa, Clinical Operations Shift Lead, Babylon Health Canada; Samiha Amin, Technical Analyst Senior Associate; Emma Kehler, Projects Lead (Canada): James Taylorson, Senior User Researcher, Babylon Health; Dr Petr Kremen, Knowledge Scientist, Team Lead; Christopher Bruford, Senior Frontend Engineer; Karina Seskena, B2B Marketing Manager; Maurizio Morriello, Product Manager; Lauren Hogg, B2B Marketing Manager; Alex Szolnoki, Clinical Product Manager, CHR; Francesca Irimia, Software Engineer; Dr Kimya Tarr, AI Clinician; Azizah Rashid, Audit & Effectiveness Associate; Nabila Chaudhri, Associate Director of Pharmacy; Nicolas Robin, Senior iOS Engineer; Michael Owen, Lead Product Designer; Dr Kate Howarth, Forecasting & Planning Analyst; Dr Zahra Damji, GP and Clinical Director for Clinical Product; Romi Fellows, Product Designer, CHR; Catherine Allan, CRM Lead; Dr Annabelle Painter, Clinical AI fellow; Soraia Carmo, Software Engineer; Dr Alex Papadopoulos Korfiatis, Machine Learning Engineer; Hajyra Ilyas, Agile Delivery Manager: Aljay Massiah, Technical Lead; Dr Nathalie Bradley-Schmieg, AI Research Program Manager; Camille Van Assel, Software Engineer; Mabroor Ahmed, Software Engineer; Amanda Borg, Insights Analyst; Natalie Godec, Platform Engineer; Anna Gibson, Product Analyst; Robert Manteghi, Software Engineer; Jay Timmins, Software Engineer; Chris Hart, Research Scientist; William Duddell, TA Lead; Dr.Yun-Hsuan Chang, AI clinician; Erica Warp, Product Director; Helen Highet, Talent Acquisition Lead; Paul McCallum, Director of Customer Acquisition; Edel Russell, Talent Aquisition Associate; Martin Babic, Senior Software Engineer; Hannah Brisland, Consumer Marketing Lead; Dr. Sergio Gutierrez-Santos, Senior Software Engineer; Daniel Spagnolo, Senior Product Designer; Kyriacos Elia, Senior Software Engineer, CHR; Vasiliki Milou, Patient Experience Associate; Ivelina Yordanova; Martin Coste, Knowledge Engineer; Joy Sun, Lead Engineer; Oliver Flynn, Product Manager; Christina Hu, AI Product Manager; Dominique Top, Developer Relations & Community Manager; Gillian Nash, People Services; Dr Joseph Lingham, AI Clinician; Minsang Kim, Machine Learning Scientist; Zinaida Zukova; Zsolt Szrnka, Regulatory Affairs Specialist; Faiza Mirza, RPA Business Analyst; Andy Flatt, Lead Architecth; Chris Charalambous, Agile Tribe delivery Lead; Claire Morris, International Programme Director; Lucy Sonkwe, Senior QA Engineer; Megan Dewhurst, RPA Business Analyst; Kendal Muir, Technology Compliance Coordinator; Rahel Bailie, Director of Content; Trisha Sodhani, QA Engineer; Hamza Khan-Cheema, Senior Software Engineer; Jason Bootle, Lead Service Designer - Integrated Care - Clinical Services; Charles Todhunter, Project Operations Lead; Tharindra Perera, Senior QA Engineer; Yan Lau, Associate Product Manager; Jess McAndrew, Operational Analyst; Jean-Marie Ferdegue, Director of Platform Operations; Matt Kemp, Platform Engineer; Amaia Lasa, Senior Agile Delivery Manager; Francesca Logan, Operations Manage; Shagun Chheda, Clinical Operations Associate, Babylon by Telus Health; Michael Hellicar, Senior Product Designer; Abhinav Ullal, Senior Copywriter; Lucy Soares-Turner, Senior Content Designer; Giorgia Grassini, Senior Localisation Manager; Dung Tue Thi Truong, Localisation Specialist; Joao Alves, Android Chapter Lead; Toby Brock, Software Engineer; Jaspreet Sond, People & Performance Business Partner; Andrew Roff, Finance & Delivery Director; Dr Rosie Barnett, Strategy and BD; Andy Lau, Membership Support Advisor; Daljit Hanspal, Localisation Consultant; Nic Milliner, Visual Designer; Jeremy Frenay, Lead Engineer; Rakesh Mallepalli, Lead Data Engineer; Sarah Benson, Product Designer; Adam Davison, Associate Director; Doogal Simpson, Tech Lead; James Mills, Senior Software Engineer; Jeremie Vallee, Lead Engineer; James Littek, Motion Graphics Designer; Prache Mittal, Web & SEO Project Manager; Maria Anastasiou, Events Executive; Molly McNeill, Customer Success; Jital Bakrania, Talent Acquisition; Gabi Stripoli, Senior User Researcher; Maria Agudo-Moreno, Paid Search Manager; Dr Kate Smith, Patient Involvement Coordinator; Nathan Robinson, Product Manager, Babylon Health USA; Sophie Allinson, Senior Business Consultant, Professional Services; Nicole Fuentes, Business Consultant; Dr. Kostis Gourgoulias, Senior Research Scientist; Mikaela Argyriadou, Senior Product Designer; Rachel Drake, Project Operations - Professional Services; Mahyar Bordbar, AI Research Product Manager; Samuel Scard, Platform Engineer; Dr Tom Mayo, Lead Data Scientist; Samuel Wright, Senior Software Engineer; David Wilkinson, Senior Software Engineer; Zarah O'Reilly, Senior BD Associate; Li Li, AI clinician; Akos Szente, Software Engineer; Java Xu, Software Engineer.