Astero StarFish

Women in STEM and ‘Break the Bias’

Women in STEMInternational Women’s Day is an inspirational moment to celebrate women across all cultures, industries, and professions. We contemplated what we, as women in STEM, wanted to share on behalf of StarFish Medical on social media for this year’s theme of ‘Break the Bias’. In doing so, we also reflected on how we could contribute to better balancing the representation of women within the STEM industry.

I am a Senior QA/RA Specialist. I reached out to my fellow female colleagues to get their thoughts on what StarFish Medical should share relating to ‘Break the Bias’ and International Women’s Day. Women from a variety of departments including systems engineering, human factors and usability engineering, quality and regulatory were enthusiastic at the opportunity to share their thoughts.

It was great to hear about the positive influences and experiences that our women employees have seen and we are keen to share those stories with you. We also want to share the recommendations and areas for improvement that women within our organization highlighted, to recognize that while we celebrate these women today, we are cognizant of opportunities for our continued growth in the future as well. This feedback references StarFish within the comments, but we think these are great topics for any business to think about how to recognize the women in their organisation.

Junior Systems Engineer: In my time in manufacturing and Systems Engineering, I’ve seen some great female leadership. It would be nice to feature a few female StarFish employees and have a short quote about their work and what they’re passionate about. I think this is a great opportunity to showcase our talent and success and that we are excelling in our roles rather than just the fact that women work at StarFish.

Systems Engineer: I think it would be great to highlight the importance of having strong female representation amongst technical roles. When I started at StarFish, I think there were only a few women working across the various engineering departments. Even though there wasn’t any sort of overt bias or judgement, I did kind of feel like I had to prove myself doubly as a newbie and as a female.

We’ve since seen a lot more women enter the scene in a technical capacity and it really makes a huge collective difference. I know that every individual’s accomplishments/successes at StarFish somewhat extend to the rest of the company, but it’s certainly a more pronounced feeling when I see other women out there killing it. Kind of like we are implicitly on the same team.

Human Factors Engineer:  I think it would be a great opportunity to acknowledge the women of StarFish through highlighting benefits of diverse teams from our perspective and also maybe just speaking to areas of improvement we are cognizant of.

Senior Human Factors Engineer: I like this [review of approach]. What about each year a couple of profiles are done on a couple of women at StarFish, their role, background, experience, etc. with a focus on these successful people at StarFish who are also women? In other words, not chosen to be highlighted because they are a woman, but chosen because they do important work and are also women which we can celebrate.

Industrial Designer: If this [review of approach] is for marketing purposes, and geared towards potential new clients, there are good stats showing that companies who have gender parity/or close to it make more money in this Forbes article.

I just filmed a video interview about “5 Issues Women Face in the Design Industry”. Maybe someone will find inspiration in one of these issues: Representation, Wage Gap, Pigeonholing, Hiring Discrimination, and the Myth of the Pipeline.

Human Factors Engineer:  For example, as a female engineer in Product Development I am involved in our equity diversity and inclusion committee, which is dedicated to investigating areas for improvement in the company as they relate to diversity and inclusion. It’s an opportunity for me as a female in STEM to have a voice in areas for improvement and be a part of those efforts for change.

Senior Human Factors Engineer: What if we had a forum on Women’s Day each year, that is voluntary for all women in StarFish to share ideas on how StarFish can better support women in the industry.  – Exactly like this [discussion].

For us at StarFish Medical this year, it’s about listening and learning. ‘Break the Bias’ starts with understanding how our women employees feel about the environment we currently promote with our culture. From there, we can start working on how we can improve and how we operate to ultimately promote a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for the future. We are optimistic at the opportunity for improvement, and support all of our employees in working towards an environment fit for all.

Astero StarFish is the attributed author of StarFish Medical team blogs. We value teamwork and collaborate on all of our medical device development projects.


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