International Day of Women and Girls in Science
I am Generation Equality: Maja Hadziselimovich, champion for women and girls in STEM
Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2021
I am Generation Equality because…
Three actions you can take to be part of Generation Equality:
- Empower women and girls in STEM
- Raise awareness about gender equality
- Raise visibility of women in science
“I believe there are no limits to the leadership potential of women and girls, including in science and technology. I want to empower girls and inspire them to lead scientific discoveries and innovations. I want them to know that they CAN do it.
Sometimes girls avoid being part of the engineering world just because they don’t know enough about what it means to be an engineer or a programmer. We should raise awareness about what it actually means to be an electrical engineer. I want girls and boys to know that there are no limits to what they can do.
Science and technology are women’s fields
Science and technology are mostly labeled as men’s fields. I see a significant progress in the IT world where there are now a higher number of women programmers. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, IT can be promoted strongly as it is a highly paid sector. But in terms of women’s representation and leadership in robotics, engineering, and automotive industry, the progress is still very slow.
During my studies, I faced prejudice mostly because of a lack of girls in the department. Women and girls in science still face gender stereotypes. Women have to be louder to be heard. We need to shift gender norms and build a gender-equal world in science and beyond. We need more role models to inspire and drive women’s leadership in scientific and technological progress.
Women and girls bring more diversity to the team and drive better, more innovative and sustainable solutions.
Act NOW to make a change
Back in University, I was the only girl in the department studying robotics and automation control for the entire five years. I realized that there was a gap in initiatives promoting robotics, artificial intelligence and other science and engineering-related fields. To fill this gap, I’ve been coordinating a national European Robotics Week in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2017. I lead and organize events promoting STEM and robotics research to the public. I also started promoting ICT, programming and entrepreneurship among girls within the joint UN Women, UNICEF and UNDP IT Girls Initiative.
Every time I visit a high school or conduct a workshop, I always highlight that although there are very few women in my team, I see a great potential among girls and women. I invite everyone to join the efforts to call out sexism at the workplace and smash gender stereotypes holding women back from realizing their full potential, and every day take action to end gender inequality everywhere”.
Maja Hadziselimovic is a twenty-nine-year-old robotics software developer from Bosnia and Herzegovina. She works as an automation engineer at SKAN AG in Basel, Switzerland. She actively shares her robotics & automation experience and motivates young people, especially women and girls, to take up robotics and STEM professions. Watch her powerful TEDx speech “What if your ideas could create impact?”.