Siemens Healthineers sponsors RisingWISE, a newly established programme that aims to foster long-term relationships between enterprising early-career researchers in academia (from University of Oxford and University of Cambridge), and women working in industry.
RisingWISE is a three-weekend programme for women in STEM, tailored to develop existing skills whilst offering mentoring and networking opportunities in sessions covering themes, such as:
- Personal awareness and creativity;
- Creating change and becoming a high impact collaborator;
- Building relevant networks, resources and toolkits;
- Celebrating success and developing strategies/next steps.
“I was delighted to have the opportunity to discuss topics important for me, such as diversity and inclusion, with talented women from industry and academia,” states Alexandra Olaru, On-Site MR Scientist for Siemens Healthineers GB&I.
Alexandra attended this year’s event as a facilitator offering advice and prompting group discussion based on her own experiences transitioning from academia into industry.
“I was brought up to be an academic, I have worked my whole life to become an academic,” Alexandra states. “When I decided to stop doing that, I did wonder if I would live to regret it. This was a great chance for me to go back and let people in similar situations know – it can be a great decision.”
Alongside Alexandra, Business Graduate Vicky Tennyson participated in the programme as a representative from industry, offering insights from her experiences at Siemens Healthineers.
“RisingWISE is a great opportunity for self-development and allowed me to reassure those who were considering a move from academia to industry,” states Vicky Tennyson. “Many of the women I met had not experienced a corporate environment.”
“Looking at the photo of the group I facilitated – we came from different countries and environments, between us we covered about four continents,” adds Alexandra. “This really opened my eyes to the variety of challenges these women face, such as cultural differences, language barriers, immigration formalities or bringing up children and having a career at the same time. I went there hoping that sharing my experience with them would be helpful, but I think I have also learnt a lot from them.”
The RisingWISE programme is designed to encourage more women to build careers across the science and technology sector, focusing on nurturing vital skills like presentation, strategy development and networking.
“Having completed my Ph.D. I know that working in research can make you feel isolated. This event offers participants the opportunity to interact and appreciate one another,” states Alexandra.
“I left on the final day knowing there was a group of people who were super passionate about their research but also about what I was doing too. It’s nice to know that within that group of people I have a network that I can talk to” adds Vicky. “I would highly recommend the RisingWISE programme. It’s a great way to push yourself and a safe place to start networking.”