5 Videos of Solid Advice for Women in STEM for Your Consideration

Notes From A Queer Engineer_Rory Midhani_640header by Rory Midhani
feature image via shutterstock

Hello, fighter jets! I ordered myself 14 identical pairs of wool socks last week, with the intent to eliminate all other socks from my drawer (and thus the need for matching). They arrived on Monday and I feel like a GENIUS, would recommend.

Anyway, here are some other humans with potentially life changing advice for you to take!

1. Lift as you climb by redirecting conversations to highlight other women’s contributions

Developer Crystal Martin gave an excellent talk at TEDxStLouisWomen last week, providing specific tips on how to shut down nonsense in the workplace and advocate for women coworkers. I particularly like that this video invokes community, which is something that drives me personally but doesn’t often get discussed in career-related contexts (where individual advancement is usually the focus).

2. Don’t undervalue your time

Genetics Graduate Student Alex Dainis with a good reminder for us all: don’t undervalue your own time! Stop doing things that aren’t worth the time, and start (or continue) doing activities that you value more highly! This is especially good to pay attention to if there’s financial compensation involved; don’t cheat yourself!

3. Make an impact by building and spending inclusion currency

Director in Global Equities Lanaya Irvin at Lesbians Who Tech 2017. I love her perspective on authenticity — that one way she brings her whole self to work is by engaging in things she cares about, which in turn has opened up many opportunities for her. She is now Co-chair of the Human Rights Campaign’s National Business Advisory Council; sits on the Board of Directors for the New York City LGBT Anti-Violence Project; and is on the executive leadership team of OPEN Finance, a consortium of LGBT leaders advancing inclusion across Wall Street.

4. When hiring, look for transferable skills to open up a broader range of candidates for consideration

President of Tech Savvy Women JJ DiGeronimo interviews techie/author Mala Kumar about diversity in tech. Around 4:05, they start talking about recruitment practices and how hiring managers would do well to look for transferable skills rather than “purple unicorns.” Here’s the original article Kumar wrote, if you prefer a written article.

5. Create an anti-burnout cocoon

Web Developer/Engineer Jamie Chung at Lesbians Who Tech 2017 on how to make space for yourself and avoid burnout. Really feeling their comments about “finding nope” and disengaging from the news cycle!

Notes From A Queer Engineer is a recurring column with an expected periodicity of 14 days. The subject matter may not be explicitly queer, but the industrial engineer writing it sure is. This is a peek at the notes she’s been doodling in the margins.

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Laura Mandanas

Laura Mandanas is a Filipina American living in Boston. By day, she works as an industrial engineer. By night, she is beautiful and terrible as the morn, treacherous as the seas, stronger than the foundations of the Earth. All shall love her and despair. Follow her: @LauraMWrites.

Laura has written 210 articles for us.


  1. I forwarded this immediately to my circle of feminist STEM graduates. Thanks Laura! Look forward to checking these out myself.

  2. this is so refreshing. i’m not in tech but i could really relate to jamie chungs talk.

    my favorite part was when they said “the more that i think about it, humans are just soft blobs that are using different sounds of how to communicate with each other and trying to survive, so if you don’t have it figured out you are probably not alone” ^_^

    also will mention that if you want to smile a mile wide just watch alex dainis be the most adorable human ever.

  3. Considering I’ll soon be a STEM graduate (whether I’m going on to grad school or not is up in the air right now), I’m definitely bookmarking this for a future revisit!

  4. I love that you made this article! Would like to see more from actual scientists. Ever heard people say “STEM is just T”?

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