Women in STEM Panel

March was Women’s History Month, and we could not think of a better way to celebrate than to host a panel filled with empowering women. HEAF’s Women in STEM panel provided our students with an unprecedented opportunity to hear from an exceptional group of women representing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Panelists addressed their own career paths, success, challenges, and tips. It was a great opportunity for our students to get an inside and personal look at what being a woman in STEM is like. 

According to the US Census, in 2019 there were 10.8 million workers in the STEM field and only 27% were women. HEAF’s goal to bridge academic and opportunity gaps includes giving students access to classes, tools, tutors, and mentors to pursue and succeed in college and careers in tomorrow’s most impactful fields.  

The Women in STEM panel featured: 

  • Walaa Abdallah, Assistant Professor Chemical Engineering, Manhattan College 
  • Youn Jue (Eunice) Bae, Postdoctoral Researcher, Columbia University 
  • Zena Coles, Math for American Master Teacher 
  • Lia Leon Margolin, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Mathematics, Marymount Manhattan College 
  • Jessica Matos, Finance Analyst, NBA  
  • Carrie Perlman, Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering Stevens Institute of Technology 
  • Bolanle Olufunmiola Salaam, Instructor of Record, UGA Statistics Department 
  • Tina Samuels, Vice President QA Manager, Agile Product Owner and Scrum Coach, Deutsche Bank 
  • Sydney Skinner, Operations Analyst, NBA 
  • Larissa Zhurakovskaya, VP and Lead Engineer for Core Trading Technologies, Deutsche Bank  

Panelist Jessica Matos commented: “It was important for me to participate in the panel so students can learn about one of the many career paths in STEM, and for them to have the opportunity to see more people of color in STEM jobs.” 

Our students were deeply engaged with all the panelists throughout the hour-long panel, asking dozens of questions to gain a deeper understanding of the various fields represented and the experience of being a woman in these fields. Panelists were open and honest about their successes, the struggles they have faced, and advice for women interested in STEM.  

Panelist Tina Samuels said: “It was my pleasure to participate in the HEAF panel so that young Black women would be able to see someone who looks like them and identify with their STEM interests.” Tina felt the students’ engagement also helped them hone their networking skills, which will be critical to their future success.   

“It was an amazing panel, made possible by the very generous participation of so many inspirational women in STEM fields. That they would volunteer their time not only to give our students confidence in the future STEM careers can hold for them, but also an unvarnished look at the challenges women in stem fields have faced and continue to face, was a tremendous gift. Our students are still talking about the endless opportunities they want to pursue in college and their careers” said Marie Hu, HEAF’s Director of Career Connections.