Celebrating Women and Girls in Science

Celebrating Women and Girls in Science

This year for International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we spoke to some HDR students about their journeys as women in STEM.

Cara’s PhD is focused on the development of starch-based food products for type two diabetic patients or individuals on low-carbohydrate diets.  

She’s always been intrigued by the process of discovery, and science allowed her to follow this interest.

“Science has always been fascinating for me,” she said.

“Pursuing a career in science gives me the opportunity to contribute to our understanding of the scientific world.”

Cara says being a woman in STEM can be both exciting and challenging. 

“Excitements are from successful experiments and publishing papers, but there’s always stress in the road towards achieving those moments,” she said.

“Balancing family and studies can be particularly challenging, and some of us face additional struggles related to gender imbalances in STEM.”

Cara has been inspired by many other women in science throughout her academic journey.

“At RMIT, I am inspired by Professor Samantha Richardson and Associate Professor Jayani Chandrapala,”

“Their dedication to the Bioscience and Food technology fields have shown me the ideal representation of being a woman in STEM.”

Cara believes women and girls can achieve anything if they stay resilient and believe in their abilities. 

The future of STEM is brighter with diverse voices and perspectives, and we all have the power to make meaningful contributions.

“We should all follow our passion and not let anything hold us back.”

Woman in white lab coat poses for a photo. Cara said despite the challenges, she is excited for the future of women in STEM.

Karen is a PhD student in theoretical physics, modelling devices used in quantum computers.  

She has always had an interest in physics and chemistry, and whilst studying a double degree in Applied Science and Nanotechnology, her passion for innovative science grew.

“I found it exciting to learn about science that was at the forefront of the research happening at the time,”

“I found the idea of contributing a completely new piece of information to the world really rewarding, so I decided to pursue a PhD in physics.”

Karen knew when starting her academic journey that she would be entering a male-dominated field, and initially felt uncomfortable to speak up in class. 

“I’ve been lucky to have had some amazing mentors and support systems around me who were supportive and helped to create a semblance of balance in the male-heavy classroom,” she said.

“They would encourage me to speak up and take opportunities... I think their support was crucial for the development of my confidence.”

This support Karen has received is one of things that makes her proud to be a woman in STEM, as she has not only benefited from them but also realised the importance of paying it forward.

“I think having all had our own experiences being women in STEM we know how important it is to have women role models for the younger generations to realise that there are women doing STEM, and that they can do it too,” she said. 

I am proud of the support I see from women, for women in STEM, and the hard work that is done by women at all levels in STEM in outreach.

“The amount of extracurricular work that women undertake to champion diversity is underappreciated and is largely the reason we have come so far.”

Woman in white dress standing in front of a cliff with water in the background. PhD student Karen Bayros holds a strong passion for innovative science.
09 February 2024


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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.