CSISA Agricultural scientist shares experience as the first woman in STEM in her family.
In the traditional Indian society Madhulika Singh grew up in, girls choosing to study science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) was as radical as choosing a life partner on their own.
“They say women hold up half the sky. I believe they should hold up as much and contribute equally in STEM too,” says Singh, now an agriculture specialist at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).
In her early teens, she saw her mother, a school headmaster, comfortably navigate her career along with her domestic responsibilities without a sweat. She later saw a similar example in her sister-in-law. “I grew up thinking ‘there is so much that a woman is capable of,’ whether at home or her workplace,” Singh recalls.