I've always been a timid and demure person who's afraid to voice her opinion. But after joining Women in STEM at the University of Waterloo, I've finally found a way to channel that inner passion I have for gender equality and make a small difference in the school community.
As social media coordinator of women in STEM, I work with the executive team to promote the events we host on the University of Waterloo's campus such as coding workshops, discussions and dance workshops.
Although we live in the 21st century, women continue to face prejudice in both first world and third world countries. Women are discriminated against for just that — being a woman. That is a huge problem altogether.
Sometimes, there can be backlash when the Women in STEM club hosts events on campus. One particular discussion event whereby people who identified as a male attended and talked about feminism and equality in society received some negative reactions. Just promoting that event alone was enough to evoke disapproval and distaste for some students, which is EXACTLY the problem.
Why is the word "feminism" so dirty?
The word is associated with negative connotations that are untrue and prevents people from associating themselves with that word even if they believe in equality. With Women in STEM, we hope to change that.
With Women in STEM, I've found a group of people who are as passionate as me about empowering women, not just in STEM fields, but in whatever they choose to do. With Women in STEM, I've joined a club that aligns with my personal values and wants to aid people who identify as a female, be it those in poverty or in the workforce.
Although people may think that this small club is pointless or lacking a wide audience, what they don't realize is that it takes more than one person to make a difference in the world and a small impact is better than no impact. Without a single initiative, how will others be inspired to stand up for what they believe in? Without initiative, how will those who are too afraid to speak up find the courage to support something they support wholeheartedly?
Combined with other initiatives, such as HeForShe, I believe that all of this CAN impact many communities and society as a whole.
Being part of Women in STEM's executive team has given me the confidence to be who I am: a feminist, which I was once so afraid and ashamed to be called in fear of judgment. But now, I can proudly say that I am indeed a feminist and that Women in STEM has changed my life.
Lead Image Credit: Pixabay