This My Story/My Advice post features Dharti Pancholi, Principal Process Engineer at NNE Pharmaplan. The My Story/My Advice project, brought to you by The Women in STEM Summit, which highlights women in STEM that are persisting in STEM fields and making a difference. It also gives their personal advice to the next generation of young women looking for encouragement to persist in STEM.
I pursued Master's in Chemical Engineering with emphasis in Biotechnology. With my father being a Chief Medical Officer/Doctor and my mother being Masters in Math/Commerce, having good science and math foundation has been the focus from my very supportive family. As a child, I could never decide whether I wanted to go into medicine or engineering. Biotech emphasis in Chemical Engineering is great because I still uses math concepts in process engineering - design and calculations and work in biotech-pharma industries that I am helping make drugs/medicines to help human beings in the world. Working with several small/private as well as large/public companies and user side (product making) or service side (consulting/engineering service provider) companies, I discovered my passion lies in people management/mentoring, technical leadership, as well as business development aspects. I remember the time in 1996-1998 when there were not many women engineers on operational plant, and now the opportunities are endless choosing STEM career path.
As mentioned in several books, female and male minds work differently and differences are not yet fully understood! Women are often more cooperative or flexible to give up their needs for others, or unlike men, they put more emphasis on understanding/questioning, mutuality, empathy etc., which sometimes makes others take advantage of them. Nevertheless, fewer women held executive positions in corporate world, but they are more effective at the mid-level management positions, or often they end up starting their own company to avoid political conflicts with differences in leadership styles, values, and preference. I personally think that embracing the differences between men and women and understanding diversity can make an even stronger team, filling in for each other's gaps. My advice is that female leaders must be role models themselves to encourage others, particularly women, and develop their interest in STEM.
Register for the upcoming Women in STEM Summit taking place October 22, 2015 in Boston, MA. The event brings together companies struggling to fill their STEM job pipelines with female college students pursuing STEM degrees. The summit is designed to facilitate closing the gap between corporate needs for a STEM-enabled workforce and student questions about job prospects that align their passion with the needs of corporate America. For more information or to register, click here: http://bit.ly/1EY6Z4d