International Women’s Day – Bithiah Esabunor-Nukie

March 9, 2023

As we continue to celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked FEnEx CRC PhD student Bithiah Esabunor-Nukie what the day meant to her. Bithiah is a PhD student at Curtin University researching ways to improve hydrogen transport for green energy.

What does International Women’s Day (IWD) mean to you?

IWD to me is a day to celebrate and recognise the contributions of women to society and to work towards a world where women have equal opportunities and are treated with dignity and respect.

Do you have any clear role models that have helped shape/guide you in your career?

I am still in the early years of my career and still growing, as such I have not had a clear role model to look up to but, while I don’t have a personal connection to any one individual, I am grateful for the contributions of everyone including lecturers and co-workers who has helped to shape and guide me.

UN Women Australia IWD 2023 theme is “Cracking the Code: Innovation for a gender equal future”. What are the main barriers that you see facing equality in the innovation space and do you have any advice on how can we better champion an uptake of women in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering?

Gender stereotypes and biases, workplace culture, and work-life balance all make it difficult to create equality in the innovation space. To solve this, we need to be more inclusive and understanding of the different responsibilities women have in their day-to-day life. Overall, we need to create a flexible and supportive environment that encourages women to pursue careers in STEM fields. This will not only benefit women, but also the entire field of innovation and contribute to a more equitable and prosperous future.

Do you have any other advice on increasing diversity within the Australian and international research/industry community?

Increasing diversity within the Australian and international research/industry community is crucial for innovation and progress. Providing training on diversity and inclusion can help to raise awareness of unconscious biases and promote inclusive behaviours within research and industry communities. Also, creating a culture of respect and inclusivity is crucial for attracting and retaining a diverse workforce. This may involve promoting open communication, celebrating diversity, and implementing policies that support work-life balance.

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