Accuity Celebrates International Day of Women and Girls in Science.


International Day of Women and Girls in Science, celebrated mid-February, is a day implemented by UNESCO and UN-Women to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls.

At present, less than 30% of researchers worldwide are women. According to UNESCO data (2014 – 2016), around 30% of all female students select STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)-related fields in higher education. Globally, female students’ enrolment is particularly low in ICT (3%), natural science, mathematics and statistics (5%) and in engineering, manufacturing and construction (8%).

Tackling some of the greatest challenges will rely on harnessing all talent.

We spoke to three women at Accuity in science, technology and innovation for their perspectives:

Klaudia Gowero, Director of Data Architecture & Governance

How did you get into STEM?

I have two degrees in applied mathematics so I’m as STEM as it gets.

My journey into this role started 29 years ago. I discovered that mathematics was the easiest thing for me when I was 11 years old but I didn’t quite know what to do with that.

I landed a job where I never applied mathematics per se. However, everything I did was algorithmic. Using a mathematic way of thinking, I applied the mind-set and not the formulas.

What do you do in your role at Accuity?

In my role today, I am the voice of sanity for our data.

My mission is to make sure that we use our data as efficiently as possible. The majority of what I do now is about communicating with people.

Would you encourage more females to get into STEM and why?

I would encourage more females to get into STEM and to challenge the status quo.

Many women have skills such as attention to detail and precision which is exactly what we need more of in STEM. I don’t look at things as male or female and I’m still taken aback by this stereotype of men being the driving force in technology. I’m frequently in rooms where I’m the only female but I’m not intimidated by it. I am there to look for a solution.

What achievement are you most proud of in your career?

Overcoming self-perceptions and learning what I’m capable of.

I’ve done a lot of things and solved a lot of problems but what I’m most proud of is how far I’ve come from how I perceived myself 20-30 years ago to how I perceive myself today.

How does the work you do make a difference?

I’m a relentless champion of progress and that applies to anything really.

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Lidija Janmeijs, Software Developer

Tell us about your role and how you got into it?

I am a software developer with the Accuity Trade Compliance team. I joined RBI as graduate following my degree in Physics at Durham University.

Would you encourage more females to get into STEM and why?

I would definitely encourage more females to get into STEM whether it’s at school, university, work, or as a hobby.

The world is full of exciting and new technology.

What advice would you give to other women and girls starting out in their careers?

As someone still at the very early stages of my career, my best advice would be to get stuck in, ask questions, and trust that you have something important and useful to contribute to your team.

Try to keep your passion for whatever pushed you toward that career choice in the first place and inspire others to do the same.

How does the work you do make a difference?

As a Developer in the Trade Compliance team, the screening products we build help our customers (such as banks and air cargo companies) adhere to local and global regulations avoid the risks of a sanctions.

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Kirsten Heath, Data Scientist

Tell us about your role and how you got into it?

Before joining RBI I worked as a laboratory technician for Duracell and Colas, then became a researcher for the Trinity Mirror Group.

I started at RBI as a Taxonomy Development Assistant for Kellysearch, then trained to become a Software Tester for Bankers Almanac. Six years ago, I was offered the brand new role of Data Scientist out of the blue. After a quick google and a load of questions to the Director concerned, I said “Yes!”

Would you encourage more females to get into STEM and why?

I would mainly encourage ANYONE to try and work out what they enjoy doing and what their innate skills are, and to look for jobs that overlap with these.

That way you have a career you enjoy, not just a job you dread.

What do you think is holding back female students from selecting STEM-related fields and how can these barriers be broken down?

I guess allowing students to get a taster of what the STEM classes involve and making sure those that do choose these are treated equally within the lessons.

What advice would you give to women and girls starting out in their careers?

Ask questions, speak up, listen carefully, and try your best.

How does the work you do make a difference?

I’m often brought in when things have gone wrong and I have to try and work out why, and then fix it. I often joke it’s more like data forensics.

There is a great satisfaction in finding a well-hidden problem and coming up with an elegant solution that SHOULD stop anything similar happening again!

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