Women in Engineering, Science & Technology Symposium 2021
The fourth edition of Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology (WiEST) Symposium is back on 5 March 2021! The biennial WiEST Symposium celebrates notable female role models, inspire and engage young women who are considering a STEM career and connect students with ecosystem peers in the industry.
Themed as 'Empowering Women in STEM', the hybrid event sets to stir curiosity, motivate creativity, and inspire women and students to discover new knowledge in frontier science, technology and engineering. This year, the Symposium is proud to invite keynote speaker, Jo Handelsman, a leading researcher in biofilm science, to share her scientific innovations and research in diversity and bias in STEM. The event will also feature regional speakers from A*STAR, European External Action Service, HP, Illumina, ISREC Foundation, Ministry of Education and more, as they share their passion in the world of research, discovery and gender diversity.
Held in conjunction with the Symposium and International Women's Day, Women@NTU will launch a new programme, funded by Ministry of Education, that aims to support and empower young women to become the next generation of women scientist, engineers, innovators and leader of tomorrow. We are honoured to have President Halimah Yacob as our Guest-of-Honour to grace the event.
The WiEST Symposium is organised by Women@NTU, supported by Amore Pacific, Julia & Ken Gouw Foundation, Micron, and in partnership with SGInnovate, SCS, United Women Singapore and many more.
Background of WiEST Symposium
While women make up about half of the world’s population, they form less than a quarter of the world's workforce in engineering, science, and technology fields and the number is in decline*. The numbers in Singapore, European Union (~30%)*, and the United States (24%)* maybe more hopeful, but the gaps are still wide. The wide gaps indicate potentials that are untapped or lost.
Women have been key contributors in the world of engineering, science, and technology for centuries: Hypatia of Alexandria (ca. 351-415) invented the hydrometer; Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) wrote notes on the Analytical Engine that was recognized as the first algorithm to be carried out by the machine; Marie Curie (1867-1934) discovered the elements polonium and radium, and established the field of radiation therapy for cancer; Henrietta Swan Leavitt (1868-1921) determined the absolute magnitude of stars, allowing astronomers to later plot their distance; Grace Hopper (1906-1992) invented the first compiler for computer programs and popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages and the term “debugging”, and Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000) co-invented an early technique for spread spectrum communications, which is key to many wireless communications of our present day.
The biennial Symposium aims to showcase women who have been expanding the boundaries of science, engineering and technology, and sharing their achievements to encourage and inspire young women in our society to embark on careers and engage in a curiosity-driven world of STEM.
*Based on data from UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Woman in Global Science and Technology, Singapore Year Book of Statistics, European Center for Women and Technology, and the United States Department of Commerce.