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Women in Science

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Video clip: Priyanka describes her changing strategies of working in a male dominated environment.

My strategy, you know, I was only 18 when I started my undergraduate degree, my strategy was to fit in because I think everybody on some level wants that they want to feel part of a community, they want to fit in so I thought, you know, I can be one of the guys, that was my strategy, you know, I still worked hard and I sort of earned the respect of everybody around me because I was, you know, I was the hardest working, the highest grades and kind of became a resource for the people around me.

But in terms of the social aspect I definitely tried to be one of the guys I used to try and watch sports, team sports which I really don’t understand or like but then, you then yeah, I have something to talk about, a conversation starter and I tried for about, yeah maybe three out of the four years of undergraduate .

And then I think as I started to mature and, you know, think about these kind of gender difference issues and feminism I thought, you know, I’m, I am my own person I should maybe stop trying to fit in especially if it’s so contrary to what I actually think. and since then I’ve kind of tried to strike a good balance in terms of fitting in and also being an individual and also working up the courage to talk about these issues with men so if you like sometimes it makes them a little bit uncomfortable because they feel like you’re accusing them of something and feminism, bringing up feminism and “women’s issues” which really I think they, it’s a, it’s everybody’s issue. Sometimes it can strike quite a debate as it always does [background noise] eventually in just normal kind of life.

But yes so the way I negotiated it was to work as hard as I could and make sure that I was, you know, knew what I was talking about in terms of the technical aspect and that is still my strategy and I think that makes sense it should be everybody’s strategy to be good at what you do.