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Lack Of Role Models Preventing Women Advancing In STEM

Interview with Sivan Aldor-Noiman, Director of Data Science for the Data Science, Center of Excellence, The Climate Corporation

1Jun

Sivan is a Director of Data Science for the Data Science Center of Excellence for The Climate Corporation. In this capacity, Sivan and her team are supporting the development of innovative data-driven solutions to both internal and external customers. In addition, as part of her role Sivan is helping to develop and adopt best practices for talent acquisition and management. 

Sivan began her career in the Israeli military serving as an instructor for an anti-tank missile unit. She then transitioned to school and received her undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering and a Master in Statistics from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. She later moved to the U.S. to complete a Ph.D. degree in Statistics from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

We sat down with her ahead of the Women In STEM Summit, taking place in San Francisco this June 8 and 9.

How did you get started in your role?

I had an idea two years ago that I want to empower more people in our company to use analytics to their advantage outside our regular science group and so... that's the beginning of this journey.

What or who inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?

I guess it's many people: my math teacher who was just an amazing woman, my mom who is a constant reminder to me that if you set your mind to something you will succeed, my dad who is just a huge supporter and has always told me I can do anything, my two brothers who are both geeks like me and my husband, who has been my rock.

Female scientists & engineers make up 41% of entry and mid-level professionals, yet 52% of women in STEM quit their job by mid-career. What do you think is the biggest factor in this high attrition rate? What do you think is the solution?

I'd say that many women I have seen want to be able to see themselves advancing but looking at the top it's very hard to picture themselves there because they don't see a good role model. The solution is training managers and executives on how to make the environment more supportive, helping women find their voice and confidence in their abilities, and training them as well on how to be successful.

What advice would you give to the next generation of girls and boys looking to enter STEM?

Do it! I really wasn't good when I started elementary school and then I met an amazing teacher during middle school who changed my life completely. STEM is the way to advance society and change the world, to make it better, and so we need as many people to do that. Also, in general, learn to be a disagreeable giver!

What will you be discussing in your presentation?

I want to have a discussion about how people should be self-promoters. I want to help people and especially women understand what it is to promote themselves and why it's so important to be proactive and manage their career. 

You can hear more from Sivan, along with other leading women in STEM industries, at the Women In STEM Summit. To register your interest, click here.

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