March 8th marked International Women’s Day for 2022. Another chance to celebrate all the women in your life and the women who make things happen all around the world. MOTAT took a deep dive into who is leading the charge to make STEAM safer and more accessible for women in Aotearoa New Zealand. Take a look at some of these game-changing wāhine!
Science: Dr Malvindar Singh-Bains
Malvindar is an incredible neuroscientist whose research focuses on diseases such as Alzheimer's and Huntington’s Disease. She works at the University of Auckland Centre for Brain Research as a Research Fellow, is the co-chair of the Huntington’s Disease Youth Organisation of New Zealand, and is a science commentator for RNZ. She gets to work on real-life brains to discover new techniques to help people with these diseases.
Malvindar was also nominated for New Zealander Of The Year in 2019 because of her work educating people about neurodegenerative diseases.
Technology: Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh
Senior Lecturer, Director of Women in Technology at the AUT Faculty of Design and Creative
Technologies, Founder of She#, and Artificial Intelligence Advisor at Aider, Dr Mahsa is a front runner for Women in STEAM. She is a computer engineer and believes in taking vital steps to prepare for digital disruption.
Her non-profit organisation She# provides a safe space for women to network and learn, with an underlying effort to close the gender pay gap in the technology industries.
Engineering: Dr Michelle Dickinson
Michelle is about all things nanotechnology and engineering! Her career has been spent creating nanotech for the tech industry and making science and engineering more
accessible. Michelle is a fabulous woman in STEAM, with achievements such as creating Nanogirl (STEM experiences for tamariki), being a best-selling author, and hosting a tv series called Breaking It Down.
Michelle is a leader in making science accessible and busting down barriers that are traditionally in the way of tamariki gaining knowledge in this area. She has received several
awards including the 2020 Hi-Tech Inspiring Individual of the Year, the Member of New Zealand Order of Merit, and the Prime Minister's Science Media Communications Prize.
Art: Aroha Tamihana
Found and designer at Maimoa Creative, Aroha is leading the way for the future generations in Aotearoa. Her calligraphy artwork and activism mahi aims to bring te reo Māori into homes across the world. A one-year full immersion te reo Māori course led her to connect deeper with her whakapapa and build Maimoa Creative.
Chances are you’ve seen her artwork or educational reels on Instagram. She’s paving the way for Māori to feel accepted and valid through her visual art, while also educating her followers on te ao Māori.
Mathematics: Professor Jennifer Brown
Jennifer is a Statistician at the University of Canterbury as well as the Associate Director of the Biomathematics Research Centre, and a researcher in the NZ Health Ageing Research Group.
Jennifer’s work allows her to travel all around the world as she can provide advice, support,
and skills to help programmes that are monitoring the environment. Ex-president of the New Zealand Statistical Association, she advocates for new opportunities and support for the data science field. As a former forester, Professor Brown is especially interested in problems of environmental statistics such as monitoring endangered or invasive species.
Story by Makayla Wallace-Tidd, Communications Coordinator, MOTAT
Wallace-Tidd, Makayla, 2022. International Women’s Day: Five Innovative Wāhine in Aotearoa STEAM. MOTAT Museum of Transport and Technology. Published: 8 March 2022. URL: https://www.motat.nz/collections-and-stories/international-womens-day-five-innovative-wahine-in-aotearoa-steam