Day 12

On Tuesday morning we had the opportunity to listen to the stories and talk with some influential women in STEM as well as the Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Rwanda. The Vice Chancellor, Phil Cotton, thought it important to give both women an official introduction to highlight the importance of the stories they were about to share. Our first speaker was Judy Dorsey a mechanical engineer and founder of Brendle Group. The company aims to prevent as well as using engineering to solve the effects of climate change and sustainability issues. The team found her story inspiring as she faced challenges of becoming an engineer in the USA 30 years ago. In particular, she found bias in industry when wanting to start a family, therefore, started her own company which has now completed over 300 projects in 30 states. Judy’s final words were to eliminate the ‘either/or’ mindset and instead introduce the fact you can be a mother AND an engineer!

65838584_664559777343725_1018401093081628672_nOur second speaker was the deputy director of the Rwandan Association of Women in Science and Engineering (RAWISE), Eva Ujeneza. She shared her story with the girls of growing up in Rwanda after the genocide and the struggle to afford education. Despite these struggles, Eva had the support of school teachers, her family and followed her gut instincts when it came to pursuing maths instead of more traditional careers. This led her to AIMS (African Institute of Mathematical Sciences), where she achieved her Masters in Applied Maths and is now pursuing her PhD. Her main message was to take risks and to not be afraid when it comes to pursuing your goals, even if it’s different to someone else’s idea of what you should be doing.

Although both women had very different backgrounds and upbringings, there was a clear similarity in their resilience and determination to achieve and prosper in a career in STEM.

 

The team have arranged a ‘secret santa’ to exchange some gifts at the end of the project (which is fast approaching 😦 ), therefore, the Glasgow girls sneaked into town to try buy some presents at the local markets! Ellis ended up buying more for herself, however, we discovered a new talent of Monica’s…haggling (she is BRUTAL). The team shuffled off to dinner, shopping bags full and happy.

The FemEng in Rwanda Team 2019  🙂

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