Today is the International Women’s day, and we wanted to give some attention to all of the dedicated and honorable women working, or taking an education in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics.
We in Ocean Autonomy Cluster – OAC are working in the cross section between a lot of different companies and partners. We love projects who bring people together, make arenas for creativity, and ocean technology. Together we are making an impact on Trondheim, and a real change on the industry. After working on different projects, we believe we have found the secret ingredient to a successful project; diversity. The very best projects are based on teams who practice diversity. They have different people of different gender, age and background. We believe that each individual brings something different and valuable to the table.
To be able to make diverse teams we are dependent on committed women. Therefore, today is the day we want to encourage women to follow their dreams, to take chances and to challenge themselves. We are reliant on women who are not afraid to reach high, and to kick in doors. We need more women for younger ladies to look up to, to show them that women are a part of the solution to tomorrow’s challenges.
Earlier today I reached out to some of the ladies who have taken on the challenge and followed their dream. We asked them why they think more women should join them in the STEM- fields.
Mary Ann Lundteigen, Center leader – SFI AutoShip:
“I am grateful OAC chooses to put the spotlight on the need to recruit women to the maritime sector. We believe the maritime sector needs women in all levels moving towards digital and environmental change. As shown in a TU article* from March last year, women will contribute to a more diverse team and will be necessary to reach better decisions and create engagement with customers and employees.”
Stephanie Kemna, Research Manager – Maritime Robotics:
“There are lots of exciting opportunities in STEM (for anyone); in companies, universities, opportunities to do your own start-up, etc. The most important thing I think is to follow something you are curious about, something you want to know more about, or study something you want to use for making the mark you want to make on the world. There’s many ‘gurus’ who say you need to follow your passion, but I do not think I have ever had a single passion, I have a million interests – it feels a bit too singular to me to have only 1 passion in such a big world, where there are a million things to explore – so I would rather say to follow something you are curious about than to follow your passion. By going into STEM you have the opportunities to change the world for the better.”
Ingrid Margrethe Sandnes, Advisor – Ocean Autonomy Cluster:
“I believe that it is important for women to be a part of the technological development. Technology shapes the future and changes the society. We need excellent diversified teams with people from all ages and genders to find the best solutions.”
When emailing Stephanie Kemna she sent me a paragraph I couldn’t agree with more. I wanted to share this paragraph with all of you.
“I always find that a bit of a weird question, because why not? The question sort of implies that this is a question women should ask themselves, while that is absurd to me. Anyone should be able to study whatever they want, and not let themselves be limited by antiquated ideas on gender or society. Follow your heart, your interests, your dreams – not those of someone else.”
Happy women’s day!
Aida Angell – Student contact, Ocean Autonomy Cluster