These Trailblazing Indian Women Are Shaking Up Science and Technology – Now. Powered by Northrop Grumman

It may seem that the gender gap is narrowing, but at least in the STEM areas, there is still a long way to go. Non-male scientists around the world are bridging this gap, whether you’re talking about American women or Indian women. A study published in the journal Science shows that this is not due to the fact that men are better or have higher achievements in mathematics or science. In fact, research has shown that women actually do above advances in mathematics and science than men.

The problem was that only the women with the highest success were in STEM, while the men with the worst grades and tests did not allow these low grades to dissuade them from a technical career. According to a New York University study, the problem is trust. “Our results suggest that increasing confidence in STEM and past career aspirations can increase the number of women with high achievement in [physics, engineering, and the computer sciences]but the same types of interventions are less likely to work for girls with medium and low success rates, and something beyond all these factors attracts students to low-achieving men in these areas, ”lead researcher Joseph R. Simpian said in a release.

This problem is persistent everywhere. India is a country well known for its excellence in STEM, but it is dominated by men. According to The Hindu, Dr. Namrat Gupta noted that India’s patrilineal society denies women work; it is only recently that Indian working women have been embraced and encouraged. Only 10 to 15% of people in STEM research in India are women.

However, this does not mean that there are no Indian women who do incredible work. There are Indian scientists, engineers and people working in technology who are making impressive strides and putting India on the world map. We will introduce you to just a few of them here.

Mutaya Vomiting: A Woman Rocket of India

India has a thriving space program called the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). In 2019, ISRO sent a mission to the moon without a crew called Chandrayan-2 (which, according to Vox, means “moon ships”), which consisted of an orbiter, lander and rover. While the landing craft and rover failed and made an emergency landing on the moon, the orbiter is still sending data and has even found water molecules on the moon’s surface.

Mutaya Vanita, director of the Chandrayaan-2 project, is considered one of India’s “women missiles” because of her work in the mission. According to the India Times, this was the first time an Indian woman had been put in charge of ISRO’s large-budget mission, although they had previously managed smaller-scale operations.

An electronic systems engineer, Mutaya Vanita graduated from the College of Engineering in Hindi, Chennai, and, according to Forbes India, she has been working at ISRO for 33 years. Her experience in satellite communications and digital signal processing. Vanita was persuaded to take on the role of project director (promotion from her previous role of deputy director) by M. Anadurai, a renowned aerospace engineer known as the “Moon Man of India”. In 2019, Nature magazine called Vanita a “man to watch”.

Gagandip Kahn: A leader looking for a rotavirus vaccine

Dr. Gagandip Kahn is one of the most prominent Indian scientists due to his work on intestinal diseases in children. She is currently Professor of Microbiology at the Department of Gastrointestinal Sciences of the Christian Medical College of India. She is the first Indian woman scientist to be invited to the Royal Society of London.

Kahn studied at a Christian medical college, but decided to pursue health care and research rather than practice medicine. “I liked the idea of ​​public health and working with the community, not with one patient,” she said in an interview with The Print. “So I decided to try it and I ended up researching the gastrointestinal tract.” She worked in the UK and the United States before returning to India to focus on Indian children.

Indian children are more likely to be exposed to rotavirus infection (affecting the gut, causing diarrhea and vomiting) at a younger age than children in other countries and before the full development of their immune system. Kang’s work as an Indian scientist was crucial in the hunt for a new rotavirus vaccine.

Kahn was also one of the Indian scientists at the forefront of COVID-19 policy, and according to The Lancet, her future goals are to close gaps in inequality in India’s health care system.

Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan: NASA scientist and Silicon Valley pioneer

From Mumbai to Pluto and to Silicon Valley Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan makes waves wherever she goes as an Indian woman and scientist. She was born and raised in the bustling and bustling city of Mumbai, and according to a profile in Her Story, education has always been important to her family. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and went on to earn a doctorate from Stanford in information theory and algorithms.

“As part of my PhD. I built a communication chip that was used aboard the New Horizons spacecraft, ”Sivaromakrishnan told the San Francisco Business Times. Since then, New Horizons has completed its mission to study Pluto and is now in the Kuiper Belt, heading beyond the solar system.

Since his major work on NASA’s New Horizons mission, Sivaromakrishnan has been involved in another area of ​​technology: advertising. She was a leading researcher at AdMob, which was acquired by Google in 2010. She founded technology company DrawBridge in 2010, and it soon became the fastest-growing women-led company, according to Business Insider.

It is clear that women around the world have a long way to go to achieve equality in the fields of STEM. But these inspiring, exciting, passionate Indian women are paving the way for young women to follow in their footsteps and they are changing the world when they do.

Are you interested in science and innovation? We too. Explore Northrop Grumman’s career opportunities to see how you can take part in this exciting time of discovery.

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