Women’s contribution into the development of science and technology discussed at LETI

Women’s contribution into the development of science and technology discussed at LETI

The speakers of the mentoring session have shared their knowledge and personal stories of professional growth, described new opportunities in STEM and revealed the secrets of building a successful career.

14.12.2023 234

On the 8th of December in the reading room of ETU “LETI”’s library a mentoring session “Forming the Future: Mentoring Program for Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)” took place. The speakers – female scientists who had achieved significant success in STEM – spoke about the contribution women make nowadays in the development of science and technology, discussed what obstacles they face on their career path and how they overcome those obstacles and shared their personal experience. 

Vice-Rector for International Affaires of LETI Anastasia Minina was one of the seccion moderators.

“Women demonstrate great activity in making it easier for girls to work in the spheres of science and high technology. They find out what obstacles exist and if there are any successful practices which can help deal with them. This is why today we are happy to present you the speakers of this session – female professionals in technology and engineering. They will tell you their stories of pursuing a career”.

Vice-Rector for International Affaires of LETI Anastasia Minina

The Head of the Department of Internal Communications of the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant, ambassador for the Foundation for the Support and Development of Women's Initiatives “Association of Women of the Nuclear Industry” Svetlana Afanasieva took the role of the second moderator.

“Dear girls, students, colleagues, friends, since our today’s meeting is targeted at students, we are standing in front of you not just as speakers but also as mentors. And I hope that the experience of our speakers – both Russian and from abroad – will show you various bright visions of a successful woman in the field  that is traditionally reserved for men and will give you examples to follow in your future careers in STEM”.

The Head of the Department of Internal Communications of the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant, ambassador for the Foundation for the Support and Development of Women's Initiatives “Association of Women of the Nuclear Industry” Svetlana Afanasieva.

Svetlana Afanasieva also was the first speaker to take the floor. She told the audience about the the Foundation for the Support and Development of Women's Initiatives “Association of Women of the Nuclear Industry”. The main goals of the Foundation are to create a community of female specialists, to strengthen their horizontal network and to promote STEM careers among girls. The main projects include international video conferences and mentoring sessions. Besides, the Foundation takes part in solving other global problems of the 21st century, for example, it has several ecological initiatives.

The President of the Tunisian Association of Women of the Nuclear Industry Faten Bugelbane Ep Attia briefly described the gender situation in STEM in her country and noted that the main vehicles for the development of the female community in STEM are cooperation and mentoring.

The topic of mentoring was expanded by the Head of the Management and Quality Management Systems, the Deputy Head of the Institute of Innovative Design and Technological Entrepreneurship of LETI Svetlana Kuzmina. Her report concerned women in Quality Management. Svetlana presented a concept titled “Quality 4.0” and listed the key elements of women mentoring in STEM, which are sharing knowledge and experience, support and help in building network and surmounting obstacles.

Mary Christine Joy Bitoon, a student of a master course at LETI, one of the winners of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship, shared her personal story of how she became a female professional in the nuclear field. Mary Christine Joy noted that today the number of women in STEM is still low, nevertheless, the girls who dream of acquiring a profession in technological spheres should not ever doubt their choices.

“Even if you are the only woman in the room, you should believe in your abilities”.

A second year student of a master course at the Institute of Innovative Design and Technological Entrepreneurship of LETI Mary Christine Joy Bitoon

An engineer of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security of the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant Oksana Baskakova told the audience what prejudices and stereotypes she had to face on her career path and how she managed to break through them. Besides, Oksana advised women in the nuclear field to expand their outlook with the help of both science and art.

 A Senior Lecturer of the Department of Electrical Technology and Converter Engineering of LETI Madina Yermekova spoke about the research her Department undertakes and explained why it is important not just to carry out your own studies but also to help young people to inter the scientific field.

The final speaker was the Manager of Support and Development of Cooperation with Universities of the Rusatom Automated Control System JSC Olga Burlakova. Olga shared her experience in how to combine a career in the nuclear field with a successful motherhood and admitted that most of all she loves to work with people and for people at the same time and that is why her role in cooperation with universities means a lot to her.

The mentoring session “Forming the Future: Mentoring Program for Women in STEM” was organised by the Foundation for the Support and Development of Women's Initiatives “Association of Women of the Nuclear Industry” and ETU “LETI”.