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Celebrating the Women of GE Research

April 15, 2022

Women’s History Month is all about recognizing, honoring, and celebrating the achievements of women. At GE Research, we are taking the opportunity to highlight some of our women engineers and researchers who are seeing, moving, and creating the future. These individuals are challenging the status quo in their respective fields and ensuring tomorrow’s technology has an equitable and inclusive perspective.  

Here's what the women of GE Research had to say about Women’s History Month and women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

lakshmi krishnan

   Lakshmi, her husband, Mani, and their two children, Advaith (15) and Akshaya (11)

Lakshmi Krishnan
Senior Scientist – Chemistry
Material & Mechanical Systems

Why are women in STEM important? Why does representation matter?
“I think it is important for women to actively consider and contribute to STEM because without the presence of women, 50% of the population is excluded and innovation strictly limited. I have been at GE Research for 12 years. I have several mentors who help guide and shape my career at GE for which I am grateful, but surprisingly, none of them are women. This is the gap that exists, and we can begin to make major strides with more representation and awareness. With the pandemic and the ability to work from home, my 10-year-old daughter had the opportunity to see me lead and contribute to high impact technical projects and I immediately saw her eyes light up. I fielded some very tough chemistry questions from her, and it was fulfilling. Creating an inclusive and diverse environment, bridging the pay gap, and offering flexible work arrangements will help women consider and stay in STEM careers.”

 

jhimli mitra

                                                                          Jhimli Mitra

Jhimli Mitra
Senior Scientist – Computer Vision
Digital Research

What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
“We've come a long way in the past 40 years. We've celebrated association of the phrase ‘the first woman’ with a contribution in American society, including the first woman vice president of the United States in 2020. But I look forward to the time when a contribution and gender need not be mentioned in the same breath.”

Tell us about a woman/mentor who has impacted your life and/or career?
“My mother has been a best mentor of my life and has greatly influenced my career choice.”

How can we better support women in STEM fields?
“The process should start early, nurturing young minds about STEM possibilities, making STEM more fun and enjoyable, not associating a career choice with gender. This process certainly includes educating the parents that will help young women prioritize their career.”

 

cathleen hoel

                                                      Cathleen Hoel

Cathleen Hoel
Senior Scientist – Ceramics
Material & Mechanical Systems

Tell us about a woman/mentor who has impacted your life and/or career?
“Definitely my mother. She’s a tough lady and an example of how to be strong, resilient, joyful, and selfless. I have chosen a different path in life than she did, but I admire the way she approaches and handles life’s challenges. She accepts bad news and finds out how to deal with it and tries to make the best of everything. As I get older, I feel more of her quirks coming out of me.”

What advice would you give to women who want to pursue a career in STEM?
“My advice is to not worry about making a decision early on about which field in STEM to study. It can sometimes seem like picking a major in college will determine the rest of your life, but that is far from reality. Pick something, anything, and see if you like it. If you like it, great, keep going! If you don’t, try something else. STEM is so broad and is at the heart of our daily lives; there is something for everyone. My other advice is to always grow your knowledge and be fearless. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help because that’s how you learn.”

 

uttara kumar

                                                    Uttara Kumar

Uttara Kumar
Lead Engineer – Structural Mechanics/Dynamics
Material & Mechanical Systems

What advice would you give to women who want to pursue a career in STEM?
“Believe in yourself and get comfortable being uncomfortable. Don’t hesitate to try new things during your career and put forth your unique perspective. Seek help from peers, mentors, both men and women, and support other women who are interested in STEM.”

Why is it important for women to contribute to the STEM field?
Whether at home, or in any industry, women do have creative ways of solving problems. It is important for women to actively contribute to the STEM field so that the world could benefit from their innovative ideas and help inspire future generations, both men and women, to build a bias-free society where a profession is not defined by gender.” 
 

sanghee cho

                                      Sanghee with her husband, Byoung, and son, Jay


Sanghee Cho
Lead Scientist – Business and Financial Risk Analytics
Controls & Optimization

What advice would you give to women who want to pursue a career in STEM?
“I would recommend participating in events for women in STEM. There are several organized by local school districts and by companies like GE. For example, I had an amazing experience when I attend the WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) symposium hosted by GE. I felt a sense of solidarity from many females in STEM fields who pursue similar careers and share similar interests. Also, it was truly inspiring to hear from someone who already went through the challenges that I am running into. I am very grateful and proud to be a part of such a supportive community.”

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