While the world moves towards technological development with every passing day, the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Mathematics, and Engineering) is blooming with opportunities and well, gender biases. However, women are leading to make exceptions to the rarefied male bastions of STEM by going against the shackles of patriarchy which would rather have them pursue ‘safe’ or ‘stable’ careers.
This year saw many women coming from diverse backgrounds and identities getting recognised for their research and innovating groundbreaking scientific solutions in a continually hyper masculine space. We take a look at some of them.
Also Read: 8 Women In STEM Who Made A Mark In 2021
1. Dr Geetha Manjunath
Dr Geetha Manjunath is a computer scientist, innovator and the Founder-CEO of NIRAMAI (Non-Invasive Risk Assessment with Machine Intelligence) Health Analytix, a Bengaluru-based health-tech startup. She has developed a novel breast cancer screening solution ‘Thermalytix’ that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud-hosted analytics over thermal scans to detect and localise breast cancer abrasions in women. NIRAMAI’s breast cancer diagnostic is radiation-free, non-touch and non-invasive.
Manjunath has received several international and national recognitions for her innovations and her work in AI and computer science applied in healthcare. She was also featured on the Forbes List of Top 20 Self-Made Women in the year 2020.
Reportedly, Niramai is the only company in the world that uses AI-based thermal image processing and machine learning algorithms for reliable, early, and accurate breast cancer screenings. ‘Thermalytix‘ research technology has benefited over 36,000 women so far.
Also Read: Addressing Gender Disparities In STEM
2. Dr Ana Baburamani
Biomedical researcher Dr Ana Baburamani has spent over a decade striving to make science more accessible and increase the uptake of careers in STEM and research. Her research work focuses on brain development and mechanisms leading to brain injuries.
Baburamani has been a Research Fellow at King’s College, London where her investigation was pivoted towards Down Syndrome, neuroscience and brain phenotypes.
This year, she was recognised as Australia’s Superstars of STEM, an initiative that ‘aims to smash society’s gender assumption about scientists and increase the public visibility of females and non-binary people’. Currently, she oversees the Department of Defence at the Science and Technology Group, Australia as their scientific advisor.
3. Dr Indrani Mukherjee
Dr Indrani Mukherjee, a deep-time geologist at the University of Tasmania, was recognised for her work focusing on the biological transition and its driving forces. The scope of her research actively extends to public outreach, geoscience communication as well as diversity initiatives.
She was one of the sixty global astronomers, computer scientists, physicists and engineers who were celebrated as Australia’s Superstars of STEM this year.
4. Dr A Mani
Dr A Mani is a mathematician and research scientist in algebra, logic, machine learning and allied areas at the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, and a senior member of the International Rough Set Society.
Navigating STEM as a lesbian, trans, and queer woman in STEM, Dr Mani advocates sensitisation concerning gender identity, sexuality and gender dysphoria through her academic pursuits. She highlights the lack of sensitisation and toxic LGBTQIA visibility prevalent in academia.
Dr Mani is a published researcher having worked over 1000 pages of research in peer-reviewed literature including Algebraic Methods for Granular Rough Sets and Towards Student Centric Rough Concept Inventories. She has also authored several articles and research papers on gender, feminism, and sexuality.
5. Neelima Kadiyala
Technologist Neelima Kadiyala is an IT (Information Technology) expert who develops customer-oriented banking technologies. She has delivered extensive transformation programmes across multiple private and state industries.
She has been selected as GEEQ Australia Ambassador, a not-to-profit organisation that aims to empower women and promote gender equality. She was also recognised under Australia’s Superstars of STEM initiative in December 2022.
Disclaimer: This is by no means an exhaustive or representative list. Suggestions to add to the list are welcome in the comments section.