This International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we spoke to four inspirational women—from Young Champions of the Earth to the Chief Executive Office of Future Tech Lab. We asked these women blazing a trail in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), what their advice is to other women and girls to want to take up these careers.
These women use their scientific skills to protect the environment and push for a more sustainable planet: their powerful words remind us to strive for a better world and to support each other.
Their testimonials may inspire you to realize your vision this year too, and apply to be a Young Champion of the Earth. The prize, powered by Covestro, is open. Why not apply here today?
Miroslava Duma, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Future Tech Lab is a digital entrepreneur, philanthropist and active investor across a range of promising businesses including digital media, technology and responsible fashion.
My background in fashion and digital journalism had exposed me to the two areas in a very complementing way, so it was almost natural for me to develop my career further in the field of fashion tech. I always wanted to work towards a groundbreaking transformation for the fashion industry. The biggest challenge is to change the mindset of the business and have decision makers accept that technology helps to solve problems and push the fashion and appeal industry to evolve and truly embrace innovation. The more scientists and researchers I meet, the more I see talented and forward-thinking people who are hoping to get their genius ideas to market and collaborate. I think what is important in any career is to stay motivated, curious and hungry for information. STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—is evolving at lightning speed, so maintaining your hand on the pulse of the latest developments and understanding how STEM careers can drive change in the most unexpected industries is absolutely key. Companies should lead by example and hire the incredible female talent that already exists in this field.
Miao Wang is a citizen scientist, Young Champion of the Earth for Asia and the Pacific and Founder of Better Blue.
It is essential that we use professional and scientific methods to promote conservation. While our understanding of science makes us the dominant creatures of the planet, we also must use science to invent powerful solutions to the problems we cause. Therefore, there are many misunderstandings about why I do the job I do—will I make a living, for example? You need to have a strong inner power and firmly believe in what you do. Other people will witness the fact that you can lead change. Let your heart tell you what you really like. Follow that instead of listening to what other people say. Happiness and satisfaction in your life depends on your inner peace and on recognizing your own value. As women in science, curiosity, courage and persistence define our character.
Heba Al Fara is an environmental engineer, Young Champion of the Earth for West Asia, Founder of the Women in Energy and Environment Organization, and LEED Green Associate.
The power and impact of science in our daily lives has always been visible and real to me. My mother taught me to discover, search and learn more about nature, and the science behind how things happen around us. I have faced a lot of challenges in my life—every day is risky in Gaza, Palestine. I felt unsafe, and it was not easy to realize dreams in that kind of environment. I have worked through difficulties and used a positive mindset to create a new community, meet new people and work in the field of science. Focus on what you want to make and be in life, work on your passions and always keep believing in your dreams. Science is for everyone. As women in science, we must engage and share our stories. I believe that through education and learning, we can become more involved and create our own opportunities in the world.
Miranda Wang is a biologist and engineer, Young Champion of the Earth for North America, and Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of BioCellection, Inc.
My high school teachers and mentors were a wonderful source of inspiration for my work in science. Field trips to the great outdoors and experiments in the classroom lab were highlights of my school days. Learning about the plastic problem and iterating through multiple ideas for solutions was a difficult process. It required grit, curiosity and faith. I overcame these hurdles by building and championing a diverse team and a strong cofounder partnership. My advice to other women and girls is to go after big, audacious challenges. Find a friend and commit to your partner so that you can go farther together. Do what you know will shake the world, don't stop, tune out the noise and keep going.
We encourage everyone who wants to make a difference for our planet to see if they have what it takes to be a Young Champion of the Earth. Apply today! The Young Champions of the Earth Prize is powered by Covestro.