I am Caterin, a physicist engineer in parallel with being a wife, and now mother of a curious, energetic wonderful baby girl, who inspires me every day and challenges me to nourish her curiosity as well as her thirst for new knowledge. My daughter and I are both August’s g4g girls!
Let me share with you the following pictures showing the different aspects of my life :
Ever since I was a child, helping others has been my way of life. As I have always liked to do pretty much many things, it was difficult to decide a major subject of studies. Once I asked myself what would I wanted to become, I found out that being able to understand how things around us actually work and solve large scale issues in society by technology means (that I would design and develop myself), always raised up my hypes. Those two reasons linked my love to help others, to solve problems and my extreme curiosity to understand anything – Then I discovered my passion for STEM subjects and I find any occasion as a good opportunity to have fun with science, either by dancing, light-painting, or at a science center (as shown on the pictures below) – either way, I have always enjoyed science in the company of others.
There is no doubt that I love sharing my passion for STEM with others. When I lived in Belgium back then in the first semester of 2014, I joined g4g for the first time, when I assisted with the signature Daisy experiment at a science fair in Brussels. Ever since, I got enthusiastically trapped by the g4g “anything is possible” mission and as an outreach enthusiast, I could not help but to get actively involved. Afterwards, I brought g4g to Dresden (Germany) in 2016, where I created my best g4g memories through a g4g Day with the attendance of 100 girls from the Saxony region, as well as a g4g in the Classroom in the occasion of the International Girls’Day. Moreover, I introduced the Fruit Battery workshop, in which one can create electricity with fruits. Currently, I am involved on the g4g activities in France and my wish is to bring g4g to my hometown in Colombia!
Throughout my personal and professional experience, I have learned that to solve problems, innovate new ideas and face current challenges, the minds of both men and women must work together to bring different and diverse perspectives. Due to the remarkable gender imbalance in STEM fields, it matters that more women get involved to keep such advancements moving progressively. Therefore, a more diverse STEM population with an inclusive culture, where each individual can bring their full experiences and authentic selves, portends huge benefits to tech innovation at large and - to my opinion - it even provides a much needed moral compass.
It's not that women aren't wanted. However, many cultural forces continue to stand in the way: ranging from girls being steered toward other professions from an early age, gender bias and sexual harassment in the workplace to the potentially career-stalling effects on women of having children. I consider, some of the reasons women and girls participate in STEM fields at lower rates are lack of encouragement and of role models, negative peer pressure and harassment. Let's do our part to encourage young women in STEM by giving them role models, information and platforms for discussion. They need to know the world really needs them.
There is an increased awareness of the role model problem: “One can’t be what one can’t see.” – I want to provide such support and to be a role model to my daughter and to as many girls around the world as possible. Help them to be aware of their great potential, help them to overcome stereotypes and inspire them to become the change they want to see.