Episode 6:

A Psychologist’s Perspective on STEM Challenges with Maria Bedoya

About The Guest

Maria (Mafe) Bedoya is a Psychologist and HR Specialist, with a Masters of Business Management. With over a decade of corporate expertise in organizational psychology across diverse sectors including finance, security, gas & oil, and IT, Mafe specialises in corporate social well-being. She is also an entrepreneur, launching her coaching services for professional migrants in 2023.

Mafe migrated to Australia in 2019, while grappling with emotional challenges following a miscarriage, to study English and as a quest for healing and growth. She empathizes with the various hurdles that migrants encounter when living in a foreign country. Mafe‘s personal journey and resilience are chronicled in the collaborative work “Undefeated,” where she shares her narrative as a co-author.

Mafe is committed to supporting individuals in navigating and advancing their careers abroad, aiming to transform relocation anxieties into opportunities for personal and professional development. Through fostering understanding of emotions and unlocking potential, she empowers clients to overcome challenges and actualize their aspirations in new environments.

Maria shares her journey from working in vulnerable communities to pursuing a career in STEM. She discusses her experience working in the IT security industry and how she developed an app to address administrative challenges faced by employees. Maria also highlights the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and offers advice for culturally diverse women pursuing careers in STEM.

Key Takeaways

  • Maria emphasizes the need to challenge stereotypes and unconscious gender bias in STEM fields.
  • She suggests creating educational programs, providing mentoring opportunities, and reviewing workplace culture to promote diversity and inclusivity.
  • Maria encourages culturally diverse women in STEM to believe in themselves, work smart, and seek out mentors and role models.

 Find out more


  • Learn what your unconscious biases are with the Implicit Association Test and how to overcome them.
  • Learn more about unconscious gender bias in STEM in this report by Professionals Australia.
  • Read this article about unconscious bias and the bamboo ceiling by the Australian Human Rights Commission.
  • Here’s a guide from Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils Australia (FECCA) on cultural competence in Australia.
  • Check out the SBS Cultural Atlas for training and resource on inclusion strategies.

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