I was invited to attend a Women in STEM event hosted by Psionics, the only all girls FTC team in Westlake High School. The goal of the event was the girls to learn about women engineers’ careers, work-life, challenges and success stories. They would also provide insight into their world of robotics and STEM glory. I have to say I was beyond impressed by all the work the team had put in to their project. While I was amazed by all the technological problems they have solved, challenges they have overcome and competitions they have won, the main thing that won me over was their team spirit and the will to continue the legacy of this group. The group, Psionics, was started couple years back and even though the original team members have graduated and moved on they have kept the group alive with the help of their coaches, mentors and with a sense of making possible for others what was made possible for them.
The Women in STEM event was attended by about thirty technical women who shared their stories ranging from what their typical work day looks like, challenges they have faced and specific instances that proved to be turning points in their lives. The one thing that rang true in all the narratives was the humility and professionalism with which each individual has approached their careers, overcoming the typical ups and downs of an industry that largely male dominated. While the girls learned from role models they look up to, I learned that we are all so similar. We might have different working styles and routines, we might work on a variety of different problems in varied roles and capacities, what’s common and what brings us together is the recognition that we are a village working together. Some work in it to purely for financial sustenance, some love the work and have incomparable passion for it they couldn’t find anywhere else, some work with a desire of improving and changing the face of technology, some work with a sense of giving back. Whatever the reasons might be, in the end, all of us do our bit to contribute to a bigger picture, a puzzle that comes together because we do what we do while remembering why we do it. I took home with me a small piece of this puzzle myself with a sense of rejuvenation and a reminder to keep doing what I’m doing.
Thank you Psionics for this incredible opportunity. I wish you much luck and send you this message, “There’s a real joy in creating when the vectors don’t point at you, they point at a bigger purpose, but they originate from you.”