Posted on Tuesday 6 June 2017 by Cruickshank Intellectual Property
Following on from our recent blog post entitled ‘The Gender Gap’ we thought why not explore this idea further, and what better way than speaking to a member of our own team here at Cruickshank. Emma Koncewicz has a wealth of knowledge in various technologies including chemical entities, pharmaceutical compositions, peptide therapeutics, cosmetics and cell culture to name a few.
Working for many years in the field of Intellectual Property, Emma is no stranger to the topic of gender disparity, although admits that she has been very fortunate throughout her career to have worked within many STEM companies with women making up the predominant workforce. Quite encouraging when we consider the various articles and news features focusing on the shortage of women choosing to study in these fields.
As mentioned in our previous article regarding STEM, there are many reasons attributing to this, one being the lack of information available and the influence parents have on the decisions their children make. However, Emma’s decision in following a career in STEM was luckily enough an easy and natural choice and in part due to encouragement from her family. It was then during her first Master’s that her interest in Intellectual Property came to the forefront and led her on the path she is now on. The human element was one such reason that piqued her interest, the ability to help the talented inventor community big and small in realising their dreams, and supporting them in protecting that potential.
It is through this human element and forging client relationships that she has seen this gender imbalance in action.
“I have had the pleasure of working with many inventors across many different industries, and from my experience there does seem to be a degree of disparity in gender across the different fields with many more male inventors in the mechanical and software sectors.”
Considering this, what in her opinion is the reason behind this gap?
“The reason behind the gender gap is likely to be multifaceted and complex and consequently not because of any singular reason…..Clearly addressing the concern of a lack of throughput of women into STEM fields is a vital piece of the puzzle, but there are likely to be other issues that should be addressed also.”
While we know there is much being done to help encourage young women to follow into STEM education, Emma believes there is always more room to consider new approaches. “Encouraging young women to expand their minds as to the wealth of possibilities that wait them is just the start. Allowing them to explore what STEM means for them is likely to be an important next step.”
While backing this kind of encouragement she is also honest in her view that while she has been fortunate to work in many companies whereby women outweigh men she has also seen that many of the more senior positions were and still are held by men.
Can she see this changing?
“Women still seem to be poorly represented in the higher echelons of STEM businesses. That been said I know many formidable women who are making their way up the hierarchy one step at a time and breaking into the ‘old-boys’ club. More women at the top may facilitate a change.”
Lastly, we wanted to know if she had any advice for young women out there who may be considering a path in subjects under STEM like she did herself years ago?
“Be true to yourself and never let someone tell you, you can’t do something, especially when that something is important to you. There are a lot of naysayers out there, both male and female, but never let them get you down.”
Never a truer word spoken we think!
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