Episode 3:

Breaking the
concrete ceiling with
Dr Ruwangi Fernando

About The Guest
Dr Ruwangi Fernando is an accomplished Information Technology expert and AI specialist with a strong academic and consulting background. As a champion for women of colour in STEM, she advocates for intersectional diversity and inclusion in the Australian STEM sector. Dr Fernando founded STEM Sisters and co-founded iSTEM Co., both organisations aimed at empowering women of colour and promoting their employment in STEM fields. Her dedication to fostering diversity, inclusion, and intersectionality in STEM has earned her numerous accolades and made a significant impact.

Summary
Dr. Ruwangi Fernando joins Dr. Chloe Lim to discuss her journey in STEM and her work in empowering women of colour in the field. Dr. Fernando shares how her father’s curiosity and love for gadgets sparked her interest in STEM, leading her to pursue a career in computer science. She also discusses the challenges faced by women of colour in STEM and the need for intersectional diversity and inclusion in the industry. Dr. Fernando highlights the importance of providing targeted support and opportunities for women of colour in order to break the concrete ceiling and create a more inclusive STEM sector. She shares the various initiatives she has founded, such as Stem Sisters and iSTEM Co, which aim to empower women of colour and promote their employment in STEM fields.

Key Takeaways

  • Women of colour in STEM face a concrete ceiling that requires different tools to break compared to the glass ceiling faced by women in general.
  • Providing targeted support and opportunities for women of colour in STEM is crucial to address the disparities in employment and representation.
  • Diversity and inclusion in STEM should be seen as a means to drive innovation and cater to a diverse market, rather than just a tick-box exercise.
  • Culturally diverse women in STEM should find a supportive community to navigate the challenges and setbacks they may face.
  • Individual passion and perseverance are key in pursuing a successful career in STEM.

 Find out more

Resources

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