Pioneering technician paving the way for female leaders

  • Date

    Fri 4 Mar 22

Monika Steinke in a lab

A pioneering technician is one of the first women in the country to join a ground-breaking programme to triumph female leadership roles.

Monika Steinke is one of almost 200 women nationwide who have been accepted on a pilot programme for technicians to advance their networking and leadership skills.

This unique six-month project is the first of its kind and aims to balance the historic gender disparity in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) subjects by encouraging women into technical leadership roles.

Named for astronomer Caroline Herschel – who spearheaded comet discovery – the six-month scheme connects female staff to develop a network to bring a nation of expertise together.

Monika, who has worked in the Department of Psychology for more than six years, says the initiative, organised by MI Talent, has been invaluable and has not just been beneficial to her so far but also will be to the University as a whole.

“I’m incredibly proud to be a part of this pilot programme and I am excited to lead the way for other female technicians who would like to advance their careers,” she said.

“The technicians are often underrepresented in research and education, and this programme is an incredible opportunity to develop vital skills and mindsets to bring technicians together and may create new collaborations for researchers and academics.

“Meeting female technicians from various technical disciplines and academic institutions, and sharing knowledge has sparked new ways of thinking already.

“The more women leaders we can develop, the better, as there is still a gender disparity in STEM subjects.

“Having the right balance will open doors for research and innovation as we all look at subjects from different angles.”

Launched in January, the Herschel Programme will run until July and is a blend of virtual and in-person events.

If the scheme proves successful it is hoped it will be repeated.