Announcing Our 2022 Women in STEM Career Fair Keynote Speaker

Published: Jul 21, 2022

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This August, Firsthand will provide an exciting opportunity for women interested in science, technology, engineering, or math roles with its Women in STEM Virtual Career Fair. The fair will offer attendees the opportunity to engage with employers in STEM fields, find exciting new careers, expand their networks, and gain valuable insider knowledge from featured guests.

The 2022 Women in STEM Virtual Career Fair will feature Kathy Fuertes, vice president of Infosys. Fuertes, who'll be giving the keynote speech at our 2022 fair, holds degrees in computer science and management, and has more than 25 years of experience in retirement technology and operations. Prior to joining Infosys, she was chief investment officer for Vanguard’s retirement business line.

The fair will take place on Wednesday, August 24th, 2022 from 11am ET to 3pm ET. College students, recent college graduates, entry-level job seekers, professionals, and anyone with a background or interest in STEM fields are encouraged to attend. This is an entirely virtual event, with no travel required.

Last Year’s Fireside Chat

Last year, during our 2021 Women in STEM Virtual Career Fair, the featured guest speaker was Maya Ajmera, president and CEO of Society for Science. Ajmera is also the publisher of Society for Science’s award-winning magazine, Science News. She has been recognized for her contributions to the science and engineering fields, receiving the 2020 National Science Board Public Service Award. Ajmera has been particularly influential in increasing the general public’s understanding of the science and engineering fields.

Maya Ajmera’s fireside chat covered several important topics relevant to women in STEM fields. She spoke about how individuals can change their way of thinking when it comes to their career choices, explaining that it’s better to think about what problems you want to solve, rather than what you want to be when you grow up. The philosophy here is that when thinking about a problem that needs to be solved, motivation and passion will come more naturally, paving the way towards a solution. Ajmera also spoke about her own experience, explaining how she abandoned her initial course of study for an MD, to instead study public policy and ultimately getting her masters in that field from Duke University.

Other topics included the issues that hold women back in STEM fields, such as “double confidence,” which is a phenomenon where women feel pressured to repeatedly prove their professional worth. Ajmera also spoke about the lack of mentorship for women in STEM roles, the possibility of harassment and bullying in the workplace, income inequality, and the fundamental misunderstanding of motherhood and family.

In addition, the fireside chat featured a reading of Raj Chetty’s “The Lost Einsteins,” an article that deals with young people who could “have had highly impactful innovations” if they’d been able to pursue the opportunities they deserved. Lastly, Maya Ajmera spoke about the importance of investing in the women in STEM pipeline, and provided important strategies for young women in STEM fields, such as finding positive mentorship, and developing a solid professional network.

How to Register

The 2022 Women in STEM Virtual Career Fair is free, and registration is easy. Those interested in attending can use this registration link.