What does the word ‘intelligence’ mean to you? Do you think of someone with a very high IQ? Someone who always gets 100% on their exams? Someone who always wins a quiz?
Whilst these are all signs that someone is clever- there is so much more to intelligence, and it is often a mix of various different forms that will help you land that senior position in STEM. For example, it is important to have emotional intelligence, so you know how to communicate with others. It is also good to have creative intelligence, so you can look at different ways of solving a problem. Whilst people in senior STEM roles are stereotypically ‘clever’- it is important to have good all-around intelligence.
Many people go for jobs where they have a relevant degree and then do not get picked- why is this? Because they are often lacking the real world experience that employers are looking for. For example, Jess missed out on a lot of her GCSE’s, she also doesn’t have A-levels or a degree. Yet, she has worked since she was 16 in different industries and also attended networking events and courses to help her upskill herself and this is how she ended up in her senior position.
It might take a while to figure out what exactly it is that you want, but do not let this throw you off. If you have a passion for something, this is all you need to drive you forward. By taking opportunities and showing you are passionate you are much more likely to land a job than someone who comes across as neutral. For example, Jess gained her job by entering a competition and showing her passion for coding and female empowerment.
So, it is obvious we need more women in senior STEM positions- not only for gender equality but also to help inspire us and lift us up. Could you be the next senior woman in STEM?