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#IWD: Women Who Challenge the Status Quo in STEM

As part of International Women’s Day, we profile four GE’s Grid Solutions engineers who have built successful STEM careers and are leading change for the next generation.

"It takes an extra effort from the newer generations to reform pre-established ideas," says Evelise Pires, who left Brazil as a 29-year-old to work as a field-programmable gate array specialist in Tampere, Finland. "Personally, my greatest achievement was moving to another country with a different language, all by myself, taking a leap of faith on an adventure."

Tenly Ho also challenged conventions when she opted for a degree in engineering at a time when few women were working as electrical engineers. Today, as the Services Manager for Grid Solutions for Greater China region, she leads teams that are mainly composed of men.

"I have always worked with teams based on assigned responsibilities and capabilities," she said. "If you don’t worry about gender differentiation, no one else does either," said Tenly, adding that she is seeing more women joining the field.

Jessica León Fernández echoes that sentiment. With a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez campus, she sees more women in the field of science compared to 15 years ago. "I would advise all young women entering the sciences to fight for what they want. Women have the ability, strength and intelligence to conquer the world if you put your mind to it."

"More and more stories are told from a female perspective, giving tools to little girls around the world," says Miwa Cline, who believes her 5-year-old self would be proud of the woman she is today. A materials manager for GE’s Grid Solutions in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, she knows there’s still a lot to be done to address gender inequality and chooses to challenge the "impossible standards women are still held on to".

These women are optimistic about the future and acknowledge that the responsibility is on everyone to raise our children in a more equal environment.

As Evelise says, "It’s a slow, constant change."