This post has been coming for a while. As International Women in Engineering Day came to a close, it got me thinking. I am often asked to talk about how it feels to be the only one doing well, numerous things. Mainly starting with: The one female, the only Hungarian female, and so on.
The thing is, this is one of the hardest things to answer. As much as the honor of doing things I never saw, and following a path I have never seen can be adventurous. I do also always wish, to one day say: I am no more the only one.
Because I was never truly shown a path in STEM for so long, I always worked to show other girls just how truly amazing it can be to work in STEM. This never meant that I want every girl to be in STEM. This simply means that I wish more of them were shown STEM as an option in life.
However, the thing about females, is that we have been driven against one another for ages. Girls supporting girls has been a challenge, frankly for me too. I won't sit here and go on and on about how I never felt that doing so was challenging. It's challenging, and sometimes even today it is.
When you are part of such a limited group, it can feel as if others are able to take opportunities from you. This of course comes simply from a place of the all-so-well-known self-doubt and has nothing to do with others in reality.
But the reason we need to support other girls. and especially in STEM lies mainly within the question itself. Because there are so few of us, we need to help each other.
By lifting others, we are also helping ourselves. By liking the post, sharing, and commenting we are able to showcase every different amazing lady in STEM.
Females in STEM are a growing source of influencers and social media communicators. Simply because we never saw anyone like us. Because if we did, they were so little like us. Because we have felt alone in our journeys, and wish that no other girls would ever do so.
I often also get asked, about why all of this is important to me. I wish for no girl to feel as lost as often as I did. Others will have a hard time understanding just how lonely it can feel to go to classes, work and so much more.
We learn to adjust, react to difficult situations, and so often they arise because everyone around us, is simply not like us. The boys club will always be the boys club. And yes, conversations, tones and so much more change just as we walk into a room. Yes, we get cut off in meetings, and can quite easily be seen in a negative light. if we are serious about our work, and opinion.
Girls need to support other girls, especially in STEM. By doing so, we all feel less lonely. We find the most amazing of friends, who understand our uniquely difficult situations and challenges.
By supporting others in STEM, we begin lifting ourselves too. They show us solutions, ideas, or simply ways of navigating our common challenges. I learned so much from other females in STEM.
Solutions, words, and ways of reacting to hurtful communications are just a few examples. They also boost my confidence, by showing their true and honest doubts. We all share our experiences of self-doubt, difficulties, and even imposter syndrome.
They make me feel less lonely, and most importantly show that we are no more as alone as it might seem sometimes. We rise in numbers and hold each other's hands on our paths.
Because girls belong in STEM, just as anyone does.
Girls need to support other girls in STEM. Because by supporting each other we can all move forward and beyond!