Equal Futures Podcast

Sharing the stories of diverse women in STEMM at UTS
Photo collage of the diverse voices featured in our new podcast
Diverse voices featured in our new podcast. Photos provided.

A new podcast from UTS and 2SER, as part of the Athena SWAN pilot at UTS, explores the perspectives of diverse women in STEMM.

Aiming to bring visibility to the distinctive challenges women face in these careers, this podcast is a hefty dose of insight into the culture and practices of a male-dominated industry that’s slowly changing. It’s also a dive into the minds of some of the incredible women working and creating change here at UTS.

Brilliance comes from all backgrounds. While we’re showcasing the importance and value of women in STEMM, we also celebrate the diversity of UTS’s STEMM community.

Introducing the Equal Futures podcast and the people behind it.

Aggressive scientist or an assertive professional? In the field of material engineering, the label you receive can depend on your gender. For Dr Noushin Nasiri, this has made her more determined to break down gender barriers for future generations.

Dr Nasiri is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UTS,  and the Institute for Biomedical Materials & Devices (IBMD).

Aboriginal influence on Australian culture is more common that you might expect … but often overlooked. As an educator, Dr Megan Williams sees her role as bringing to light these influences and building on them to foster as sense of value, respect and a weaving of Aboriginal knowledges with other insights, especially in the field of health.

Dr Megan Williams Senior Lecturer in Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing at the Graduate School of Health. She specialises in teaching and learning about Aboriginal health and wellbeing. Megan is a Wiradjuri descendent with Anglo-Celtic heritage.

Research scientist Dr Nural Cokcetin speaks about her experience as a woman scientist, role modelling to younger scientists, and … beekeeping.

Dr Nural Cokcetin is a postdoctoral researcher at the ithree Institute at UTS. She studied microbiology and molecular biotechnology, and now manages a multi-instituional, cross-disciplinary collaborative project, funded by the Rural Industrial Research & Development Corporation, developing understanding of the antimicrobial and prebiotic properties of Australian honey.

Born in Canberra of Hong Kong descent, traditional cultural values and modern ideals both played a part in shaping Dr Eva Cheng’s career. But her story shows how a lack of diversity in the tech sector is affecting the technology we all use, every day.

Dr Cheng is the Deputy Director of Women in Engineering and Information Technology at UTS, and Senior Lecturer in the School of Electrical and Data Engineering.

Inclusion is about changing the assumption that ‘normal’ is a body able, white, middle aged male. In the field of design and built environments, Dr Phillippa Carnemolla works on creating inclusive environments for people of all ages, genders, and abilities.

Dr Phillippa Carnemolla is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of the Built Environment, in UTS’s Faculty of Design Architecture and Building. She specialises in the design and evaluation of inclusive environments.

Challenging gender stereotypes in STEMM requires us to re-examine the assumptions about gender roles that are still actively playing out in workplaces today. Dr Willa Huston shares her experience as a scientist leading change for gender good practice at UTS.

Dr Willa Huston is a molecular microbiologist and a Senior Lecturer at the UTS School of Life Sciences, She is an Associate Member of the ithree Institute. She also serves as a co-covener of the UTS Academic Women in Science group, a Chair of the Faculty of Science Equity and Diversity Committee, and a member of the UTS Athena SWAN Communications Committee.

Dr Lan Snell worked in management consulting until starting a family inspired her change her career and enter academia. In the worlds of businesses, universities and organisations she believes representation seriously affects the how people entering the workforce see their own careers.

Dr Lan Snell is currently the Director, Education Services for UTS Business School where she is responsible for educational development and the Directorship of the MBA.

Between a career move to the Northern Territory, single parenthood and completing a PhD in the field of health promotion, Dr Nikki Percival’s experience has spanned many of the challenges women in STEMM face.

Dr Nikki Percival is an NHMRC Research Fellow. Throughout her career she has focused on redesigning and strengthening the health system to work better for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Born in the former Soviet Union, Dr Olga Shimoni’s experience of the gender imbalance in science and engineering began after she came to Australia. She believes strong role models are one way of driving progress to change expectations of labour division in the home, and the negative effect they have on women and our careers.

Dr Olga Shimoni is Senior Lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Fellow. She is also co-chief investigator on the ARC Industrial Research Hub for Integrated Device for End-user Analysis at Low-levels (IDEAL Hub).

The standard to which workers are held is often the standard of ‘working like a man’. That is, constantly available, and like there is someone else in the background taking care of everything else peripheral to work. Like many women, Pauline Kolhoff’s responsibilities as a parent shaped her career choices.

Pauline Kolhoff is a PhD student in Education, in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. She is also a Maths Inside Facilitator and Resource Developer in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

Having a mother who worked gave Dr Teresa Vidal Calleja a different childhood role model to most of her peers in Mexico. But when she entered engineering, she found hostility to women was common.

Dr Teresa Vidal Calleja is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering in the UTS Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology. She is also a UTS Chancellor’s Research Fellow at the Centre for Autonomous Systems.

In Emily Quinn Smyth’s field, environmental science, there are not many people who are profoundly deaf. There are also no words in Auslan (Australian sign language) for basic environmental science terms like biodiversity, climate change, and ecology. Coincidence? Emily doesn’t think so (Transcript available here).

Emily Quinn Smyth is currently studying a Masters of Science Research at UTS, and working the UTS LX lab.