“Give women suitable opportunities and they will be capable of anything”Oscar Wilde
8 March is International Women’s Day, a day to fight for the equality, participation and empowerment of women in all sectors of society.
However, there are still stereotypes to overcome, one for example is trying to understand why if women make up 50% of the population the percentage of female students in engineering classrooms is less than 25%.
One of the possible answers could lie in the lack of female role models or in prejudices that are transferred from one generation to the next.
Women have more than proved that this is not a closed field for them and many have become prestigious aerospace engineers.
The truth is that talent, algorithms and science do not distinguish between genders.
Our PhD students, with their answers, want to contribute and bear witness to what has just been said by trying to convey their enthusiasm and sending out a message to all girls and women who want to approach this type of career: “be free to be what you want to be, without fear, without prejudice and above all without hesitation!”
Pink Week: Interview with Tatiana Perrotin
Tell us a little about the subject of your doctoral thesis. My doctoral thesis is about the development of low-power plasma propulsion for satellites and more specifically Hall thrusters. My goal is to design a small thruster with an innovative geometry (cylindrical), and test it in order to better understand how it works and how to improve its lifetime and performance. This will also allow for comparing numerical simulations with experiments, to make the former more accurate.
Tatiana why did you choose to study engineering? I chose to study engineering because I have always loved science and enjoyed creating things. I wanted to work in a field that is stimulating, challenging and continuously evolving.
What would you say to a teenager who wants to pursue an engineering degree? I would tell them to go for it! They should find the area of engineering that is the most appealing to them and focus on that. Maybe they could also join a club beforehand to find out if they appreciate the activities related to engineering.
How do you think it is possible to make girls more aware that engineering studies are for everyone (without gender exclusion). II think one way would be to give them a chance to chat with women that currently study or work in the field. Some small workshop with very few girls could be a great occasion to show the nice methods and outcomes of our work, and then a discussion within this small group would facilitate questions about personal experience, expressing doubts, guiding each girl according to their preferences...
Thank you very much Tatiana for allowing us to enter your world and tell us about your extraordinary experience.