Raksha Naidoo

Always work harder than anyone else around you, always try and make the right choices no matter how difficult this may be, and most importantly always stay true to self.

Country of origin

South Africa

Which company do you work for?

AMIS

What is your specific area of specialisation?

Chemistry

How long have you been in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math’s (STEM) fields?

18 years.

As a woman in a male dominated industry, what has been the biggest challenge you have faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?

There have been many challenges over the years, but the one that continues is having my technical abilities questioned by male counterparts just because I am female. Initially I would second guess myself as this would create self-doubt. But I learnt to stand my ground, always focus on the facts and technical information at hand. I found my inner strength and did not allow someone to question my intellect or ability just because of my gender.

What inspired you to join this industry?

I had a great science teacher in high school, and she sparked my interest in physics and chemistry. She made it exciting, interesting and intriguing.

What changes, if any, have you seen with regards to women in your field?

More and more female leaders within the STEM space are emerging, which is so wonderful to see. The industry is evolving to be more gender neutral, however the rate of change is too slow in many instances.

How can we attract more women to consider a career in the STEM fields?

We need to start with young girls at school, showing them, teaching them and encouraging them to take up STEM subjects and learning about STEM careers. We need to show women that STEM industries are exciting and rewarding, and you can build amazing careers within them. We need to showcase that science is cool and that it too can be glamourous.

If you were to advise other young women starting their careers in the tech or within the STEM fields, what is the one thing you would say to them?

Always work harder than anyone else around you, always try and make the right choices no matter how difficult this may be, and most importantly always stay true to self.

I think it is also important to remember that the journey is not easy. And that’s okay! We will stumble, and we will definitely fall. But don’t wait for anyone else to pick you up. Pick yourself up, have a cry if you need to, touch up your mascara, learn the lesson and try again.

When not working, what do you do for fun?

Spending time with family and friends, I am soccer obsessed, and I love reading as a form of escapism.

SOCIAL MEDIA

LinkedIn

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