Presenter: Ms Mantombi Ngoloyi, Black Women In Science
Presenter: Ms Ndoni Mcunu, Black Women In Science
The lack of black women in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is not due to the absence of interest but rather a lack of opportunity and inclusion. In this session we will engage in a conversation about integrating and creating a holistic view of black women within the scientific community and society. We pose the question, “are we in our element?”. We identify three pillars for female representation for the modern woman in science. The first being the position of women in their research or scientific careers, particularly scrutinizing the suitability of research topics, method design and financing for women. The readiness of science to be represented by the female face is also queried within the session. The second pillar pertains to the integration of women within the business realm of science, focusing on opportunities for entrepreneurial growth and the use of these skills to become influential scientist that evoke social change. Lastly we discuss social well-being, tackling topics of emotionality, femininity, leadership and responsibility, and examining the conflicts between personal expectations versus societal expectations for the modern black woman in science.
Miss MantombiNgoloyi is a co-founder of Black Women in Science (BWIS) and leads and manages the BWIS International students branch.She obtained her Master of Science degree in Environmental Science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Sheis presently pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy degree in the Laboratory of Molecular Anthropology and Synthetic Imaging at the Université Toulouse III Paul Sabatier (Toulouse, France), under the supervision of Professor José Braga. Miss Ngoloyi would like to utilise this platform to contribute to the facilitation of strong academic relations between South African and international universities, particularly exposing women to more academic opportunities abroad.As a young researcher she would like to promote self-empowerment amongst women in South Africa. Her intention is to foster the emancipation of black women through education, facilitating a change in mindset amongst previously disadvantaged women pursuing careers that they were strategically and circumstantially excluded from.
Miss NdoniMcunu holds a Master’s Degree in Science (MSc) in Applied Environmental Science. She is currently pursuing a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) at the Global Change Institute at Witwatersrand University. Ndoni is also the founder & member of Black Women in Science (BWIS) a registered non-profit organization which aims at providing knowledge and awareness of science and research for rural women. She was selected as Miss Earth South Africa Environmental Ambassador in 2014. She aims to influence young females to pursue a career in Science. She was selected as the 200 Mail and Guardian Young South Africans, under the education sector 2016. She is a Mandela Washington Fellow 2017, selected for her contribution in Civic Leadership development in Africa for her work in BWIS. She is also a Greenmatter Fellow for her academic research in climate change and agriculture. Miss Mcunu has also been listed as the Top 50 most Inspiring Women in Tech in South Africa in 2017, which is an award issued by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and South Africa. She has also been named the Top 50 Women in tech for SME South Africa.