Assoc. for Women in Science

Winter 2015

AWIS Magazine covers topics important to women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine fields. Topics include career advancement, work-life balance, the state of science and technology, women’s wellness, and AWIS’ political and

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24 association for women in science | winter 2015 What region or country do you see making the most headway in the gender bias and inequity issues women in STEM face? Why? Dr. Chitta: Although it's still not an icon to the rest of the world, the U.S. has been and will be a leading player in this effort. This is supported by the emphasis on diversity in U.S.-based institutions and hiring practices, the promotion of women-owned small businesses and women in leadership roles. Otherwise, there would not be Jennifer Lewis at Harvard entirely pioneering the 3D printing technology. Dr. Galvez Peralta: Living in a rural place like West Virginia you find many traditional views about women in the workplace. Fortunately, much of the gender bias is disappearing thanks to the efforts of West Virginia University, K-12 and high school educators. Across the world, I can see how countries in the Middle East, Africa and in India are also moving forward towards gender equality, thanks to incredible and brave women, like Malala Yousafzai. What do you see as being the biggest factor in female equity on a global level? Why? Dr. Chitta: The biggest factor that works for female equality is that women are creative and their involvement really advances the success of a team because they help in creating cohesive atmospheres, attributing to 50% of the workforce. The factor that works against women is their lack of confidence that they can be game-changing. Dr. Galvez Peralta: I feel that social media has opened doors for female equity in STEM. Different organizations are trying to instill and reestablish self-esteem and other important values to counteract the effects that the "current expectations" have had on the female population, especially young girls. These movements are finally having a voice and can be heard across the globe. It is a challenge, though, since the role of women and the expectations that society has on them has been static for more 10,000 years since the Neolithic period. Even though women are taking part of STEM, there is still a lack of connection between the actual needs and reality of women in the workplace and what the society has been "programmed" to do for so many centuries. careerplaybook stereoisomer showdown Dr. Dolly Chitta is working as an assistant research professor in department of chemical engineering at the University of Utah. She served as the principal investigator and program manager of a DOE-ARPA-E funded program for conversion of natural gas to chemicals. Her expertise includes gas to liquids processes with emphasis on non-oxidative C-H activation, hydrogen membrane technology, advanced catalyst-membrane reactors, CO 2 catalysis and conversion and process intensification. She is the co-founder of the ARPA-E Women in Energy (WIE) Initiative with ARPA-E Interim Director Dr. Cheryl Martin (former). She holds six published and six pending patents. Dr. Chitta has a PhD from the University of Utah, and MS in chemical engineering from Auburn University and a bachelor's of chemical engineering from Osmania University, India.

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