I was invited to be a resource for a panel called: Rectifying Inequalities and Eliminating Barriers. Celebrating International Women’s Day and International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This was made possible by C3Tec and Johnson & Johnson in Puerto Rico.
The panel was offered as a hybrid (in-person and virtually). Its goal is to encourage teenagers to pursue education and careers in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), to share experiences of women in the STEAM field and the obstacles we’ve had to face of inequality in the workspace and gender disparity.
I was joined by other incredible women like:
- Carla Puig Mojica: Integration Designer Engineer for General Motors
- Cindy Cruz Torres: Founder and President of Agropek, LLC
- Isabel Rosario: Girl Scout and Creator of “The One Percent: A Human Race Breast Cancer Awareness”.
- Dr. Frances Colón: Science & Technology Advisor at The White House
- Iyola Jiménez González: IT Director for Medtronic
I talked about my experience of being a Lead Developer, working at an agency and some of the experiences I’ve faced as a woman in Computer Science (as of 2019, only 21% of Computer Science bachelor’s degree recipients were women). Even though it has greatly improved in the past few years, there is a clear gender disparity in fields related to STEM. My hope is that we can work together to motivate children and teenagers that are interested in these topics to be able to learn them, feel empowered and supported while doing so.
Since November 2021, I’ve also been mentoring teenage girls in a local Codepillars program where they create products or solutions that solve a problem for consumers or a specific group/community with a necessity. This is something that has brought me immense joy and was the biggest motivator for me to participate in the Rectifying Inequalities and Eliminating Barriers panel.
Being a part of this panel and conversation is definitely one of the greatest highlights of my career and life so far. I am honored to have been able to encourage the younger generation to pursue solving problems in this field and hope to continue to support that goal as long as I’m able to do so.