Women in Tech

International Women's Day 2022

Hear from our "superwomen" at A*STAR's Institute of High Performance Computing as they share about their experience and thoughts working in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field.

IWD2022 - Women in Tech at IHPC

It has indeed been a challenging journey for the past 15 years, managing social expectations as a mother of two children and living up to work expectations in a male dominated workforce. I do often feel inadequate and that I needed to put in double the effort to be contributing as an equal to my colleagues. I am thankful that I have been given equal opportunities to serve and contribute. It is my privilege to be a role model for future female scientists.”
Dr Freda Lim
Deputy Department Director, Materials Science & Chemistry

IWD2022 - Freda Lim, MSC
IWD2022 - Xing Xinqing, FD
Despite the fact that people think gender is relevant to our society's values and individual achievement, STEM is irrelevant to gender in my mind. I love research because it explores the unknown world of new knowledge. Meeting challenges and breaking barriers in our daily work, driving innovations, and pushing forward the frontiers of technology make fun and add excitement to our life. We are lucky to be free to pursue our dreams. Break the box, follow your heart and passion, be yourself, and do what you love! ”
Dr Xing Xiuqing
Senior Scientist, Fluid Dynamics

As a female scientist working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), I am pleased to say that I am given equal opportunity to work and contribute in my research area of interest. I do not face any gender discrimination and I have been recognised for my work achievement. As women, I do believe that we bring unique perspectives, talent and wisdom, and these needs to be recognised and celebrated. Hence, I would like to encourage more young female graduates who have passion in science and engineering to join the research field and pursue their dream.
Dr Lee Hui Min
Scientist, Electronics & Photonics

IWD2022 - Lee Hui Min, EP
IWD2022 - Therese Quieta, SCC
Being in a male-dominated STEM field for many years, I've seen how women succeed in their own ways. To me, it was never a question about the intelligence or technical competency of women - we women are on par with men on that. We, women should understand how our different perspectives, motivations, and styles can influence the organization. We, women should continue to persevere and be confident of who we are, in order to contribute to solving the world's problems in the prettiest way we can.”
Ms Therese Quieta
Senior Research Engineer/Innovation Lead, Social & Cognitive Computing

The level of devotion for women is usually higher, particularly in those things they love. As persistence and perseverance are the natural characteristics of females, these intrinsic attributes can drive female scientists to move forward and sustain themselves in the long run. Patience and detail-oriented are two important factors that lead me to success. I believe many, if not all, female scientists have these attributes. With the constant demonstration of these attributes in daily research and business practices, more females can achieve great success in STEM.”
Dr Li Hongying
Senior Scientist, Fluid Dynamics

IWD2022 - Li Hongying, FD
IWD2022 - Tanvi, CI
Working in STEM field is very rewarding especially when you see that your work has potential to make day-to-day life easier. Growing up in a small town, I had limited access to computers. When I started my undergraduate studies long back, I was awestruck at the things computers can perform to ease daily life of mankind and I instantly fell in love with the subject. There was no turning back after that and my career has been very fulfilling both in the IT industry and now as a researcher at A*STAR. I am fortunate to be part of an organisation where everyone is keen to help you progress in your career. I am used to be in the minority gender group in STEM field that it almost feels normal to be among just a handful of women in the meeting room. However, this needs to be changed and we must encourage young females to join STEM field. My message to young females is to believe in themselves and not to be a victim of gender stereotype. STEM is fascinating and there is nothing to be afraid of it.
Dr Tanvi Verma
Scientist, Computing & Intelligence

As a research engineer in A*STAR, I got a great opportunity to participate in multiple research and development projects that contributed to healthcare and urban solutions & sustainability domains. Among them, the project named “Development of Integrated Multi-Physics Urban Microclimatic Modelling Tool (IEM)” won multiple awards including President’s Technology Award and Minister (National Development)’s R&D Award. The awards gave me pride and satisfaction as my efforts in this R&D project became impactful in designing a new town or estate in Singapore. The research efforts can implement in real-world applications and the actual outcome becomes a tangible impact on the country. Throughout my engineering journey, I discovered that there should have a sense of curiosity that keeps us driving to find out more and achieving final solution. In addition, collaboration and teamwork constitute a core component of having successful projects.”
Ms Theint Theint Aye
Ex-Research Engineer, Computing & Intelligence

IWD2022 - Theint Theint, ID
IWD2022 - Li Yangfan, EM
Being rare female researchers in STEM does not necessarily means you will be treated differently or isolated. In fact, I feel the working environment has been very friendly, encouraging and inspiring. I am very lucky to have a great mentor when joining IHPC, who helped me fit in quickly and were always ready to advice. I also learned a lot from my excellent female colleagues, who have shown great confidence in themselves and exceptional competence.
Dr Li Yangfan
Scientist, Engineering Mechanics

In today’s workplace, gender discrimination does not necessarily present itself in an explicit manner, such as being denied from scientific, technological, or managerial roles. However, we are still subjected to implicit biases which make it harder for women, in general, to thrive at work. Breaking such a “second-generation” bias starts with building one’s awareness around these blind-spot issues as “we do not know what we do not know”, and empowering women with the skills, the confidence and the access to high-quality mentorship to lean in. I am grateful to have met many mentors, colleagues and friends, both women and men, who inspired me in this journey. I hope to inspire more to join in to build an even greater society for all willing individuals to achieve their goals and desires.”
Dr Yang Yinping
Senior Scientist, Social & Cognitive Computing

IWD2022 - Yang Yinping, SCC
IWD2022 - Wang Dan, EM
Females are the minority in engineering. It is even rare to be a female scientist in engineering. Before, people may have stubborn impression of females and underestimate our abilities. But nowadays, I think gender differences are not that obvious in work. Most people are quite friendly and understand that a female may have more family burden. Once I attended an online seminar as one of the presenter. The organiser was so kind that he gave me the priority to select the presentation time since he knew I have a young child at home. For ourselves, balancing between work and family is really hard. A growing role in work and a young child at home sometimes happen together. And both are of significant importance. That needs us more patience and concentration to deal with multiple tasks well at the same time. Actually, we cannot make it alone. Thanks to the supports from family members, working policy for childcare and society daycare, we females can have our own professional career instead of just being someone’s wife or mother. So the growing power of female is an important symbol of social progress. I believe more and more females will have the opportunity to pursue their professional career in future.”
Dr Wang Dan
Scientist, Engineering Mechanics

I am proud of being a female scientist in IHPC for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) research in the past 20 years. Since my joining right after my PhD graduation, I had extensively explored research and developed solutions for enhancing operation efficiency and risk management in complex systems including public health system, logistics and supply chain system and maritime system etc. using data analytics, simulation and optimisation techniques. It is fascinating to discover the similarity and difference of patterns across different systems with my colleagues and we had great experiences working with domain stakeholders to develop technologies and solutions leveraging on scientific data and domain knowledge.  We are very happy to see our modelling work had contributed to the fight with COVID 19 pandemic, dengue fever control, supply chain disruption mitigation strategies recommendation, and maritime operation pattern detection and traffic safety management enhancement over years of research efforts.”
Dr Fu Xiuju
Senior Scientist, Systems Science

IWD2022 - Fu Xiuju, SS
IWD2022 - Bharathi Srinivasan, EM
I joined IHPC 13 years back in the Engineering Mechanics team which has become a full department now. My first impression that IHPC is a very friendly place to work at has not changed much in all these years. Being in the minority gender has been my consistent experience, as a physics student and later in the Engineering Mechanics department. But, I should say that I have been lucky that the work culture in IHPC is very supportive and encouraging. In most of the team meetings, I have been the only female in the team and I have had very positive experiences.  A larger representation of women at all levels including management and decision-making positions would definitely make our experience richer and more productive. I look forward to the day when the gender ratio is more balanced and we do not feel that lonely.
Dr Bharathi Madurai Srinivasan
Senior Scientist, Engineering Mechanics

In 2021, United States Postal Service issued a commemorative forever stamp to honor female nuclear physicist Chien-Shiung Wu, who is one of the most influential physicists of the 20th century and is known worldwide as “the Chinese Marie Curie”. Over the past 100 years, more and more women pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and make significant contributions in these traditionally male-dominant fields. In this day and age, female scientists get more opportunities, encouragements and supports, which facilitate them to grow and succeed. I am very honored to be a female researcher and dedicate myself to what I am doing and what I am interested in.  Science is an open and endless field full of imagination and creativity. Hope I can keep my curiosity and passion for science forever and enjoy the journey of exploration and discovery.
Dr Zhang Jia
Senior Scientist, Materials Science & Chemistry

IWD2022 - Zhang Jia, MSC
Asean-US Science Prize Winner
Dr Li Hongying
Senior Scientist
Dr Nandini, Scientist, Social & Cognitive Computing
Clare Xie, Research Engineer, MSC, IHPC
Clare Xie Yijia
Research Engineer