I really hope you enjoyed this #MoreThanEnough series I had on the blog this week! I have been wanting to get back into blogging more and this was perfect!
This campaign also fell right into place with International Women’s Day, and a nice follow along with the #MeToo campaign that has been going around, exposing sexual assault and harassment of women in hollywood and in general. We all have experienced or know someone who has experienced something of that matter, and it was rather upsetting to see all of the “me too” statuses on social media. It is not acceptable!
So the title of this blog post – what does Women Empowerment mean to ME?
It means we all support each other and we help each other out in time of need. A lot of times women second guess themselves and their abilities, and additionally, think they aren’t good enough to go for something or ask for something, like a raise or a promotion. Well, that needs to end. We need to speak up for ourselves, and put ourselves out there, to break stereotypes and the common thread ideals that have been circulating. In addition, a lot of times women doubt themselves, but in reality, you are #MORETHANENOUGH. Just as you are. With all of the photoshopped images of models and celebrities, it’s easy to pick yourself apart, and make yourself feel worthless because you don’t look a certain way. But again, you are #morethanenough!
Instead of talking behind eachother’s backs, we should build eachother up. In grad school, I had experienced my more than fair share of mean girl drama, with women talking about me maliciously behind my back, pretending to be my friend, and just trying to manipulate me. It was not pleasant, and it really made my graduate school experience that much harder. It didn’t help that while I was going through this, I was trying to take my PhD Candidacy Qualifying Exam!
There aren’t that many women in STEM fields, and not that many in graduate school, even though sometimes our immediate environment may prove otherwise. I went to grad school with many women, but that doesn’t mean the whole field is full of women. We are still a minority. Instead of making life harder for eachother, we should support eachother!
That is why I was glad to have found a good group of friends in an online community called “The STEM Squad.” Some of these ladies I have met in real life, others we instant message on a regular basis, and it has just been SO GREAT to connect with other women who I never would’ve come in contact with if it wasn’t for social media. Other ladies who are pursuing graduate degrees or careers in entrepreneurship, scientific writing, research, academia, industry – you name it.
It has also been rather nice to know that I’m not alone in my struggles – that the feelings and experiences I have had are not just unique to me. By being candid and sharing my experiences on social media, I have connected with many people who have also been thru similar things – I have received countless messages saying things like, “I’m so glad I’m not the only one that feels this way!” – it’s rather empowering to know that by being genuine in my journey, I can reach so many people and women, and let them know they have the support.
Another thing to note is – there’s enough space at the top for all of us, so don’t ever feel the need to be competitive with other women. Just because someone else is successful at something, it doesn’t prevent you from also being successful! I think that is something we all forget!
Well, to continue with the series, here are my answers to the interview questions that were asked of the previous wonderful ladies in their interviews – thought it would be fun to feature my answers here too. And in case you are new to my blog, you can get a quick introduction to who I am and what I do 🙂
#1: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog
I recently received my PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UCLA, and recently moved across the country to Boston for my first job post-grad school – a postdoctoral research position at a Biotech Company!
While I LOVE doing research, I love having my blog as an outlet to share my fashion inspirations and outfits, and to show others that scientists can be fashionable too. I also share many different types of conference outfits, so people can get ideas of what to wear – interview/professional wear doesn’t have to be boring! On my blog, I not only share outfits, but also beauty and lifestyle posts, as well as advice for grad school!
#2: How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to get started?
I began blogging in 2012 as a place to share my outfits, as woman, I have a LOT of clothing. Also, as a scientist, we get a bad reputation sometimes for being stereotypically “nerdy,” “awkward,” and just plain weird. I wanted to start my blog to show others that scientists can have a sense of style, and are multifaceted people – to break the stereotype that research and science is done in laboratories by white older men! In addition, during my time in grad school, UCLA became more strict what you can and can’t wear in the lab – so that was a fun challenge to find outfits that still fit the requirements but were fashionable.
#3: Was there anything that ever held you back from blogging or made you apprehensive?
I was very apprehensive or nervous to do fashion shoots – I saw all of the other bloggers do it so fiercely – pose like this, like that, get the best lighting, best shot. It was really daunting at first because I felt really self-conscious posing, and I thought others would make fun of me. I didn’t tell my grad school friends when I first started my blog as I was shy and worried they would think I wasn’t being serious about science. I was able to show everyone that I can be a successful blogger and still rock at my research! The more time went on, the more comfortable I became showing my blog and achievements to others. I think that mostly came with confidence in myself and not worrying about what others would think of me.
#4: Do you blog full time or on the side? If on the side, what’s your profession?
Not at the moment – I am currently a postdoctoral research at a biotech company and I LOVE it! I love being able to explore my scientific questions and still have my blog to work on during my downtime – it doesn’t feel like work.
#5: What’s your best general career advice?
Do what you love so you can do it with passion, and don’t sweat the small stuff. I have a tendency to over worry and blow things out of proportion, but not worrying about the little things can really help and go a long way. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. The worst thing someone can say is no, or not respond. You don’t lose anything by asking!
#6: What do you think makes someone a #girlboss?
I think a girl boss is someone who knows who they are, has set their goals, and can empower others. Someone who can be successful in their field and not lose themselves to pressure or stereotypes. Someone who can inspire other women that they can also achieve what she has – that there’s enough space at the top for all of us!
#7: What are you favorite ways to make yourself feel confident?
Doing my makeup, I instantly feel good and ready to take on the day. Others may think that this is shallow or ‘you shouldn’t need makeup to feel good about yourself,’ but I’m not doing it to look pretty or prove anything to others. There’s something about makeup that makes me feel fierce and confident – A sharp winged liner makes me feel unstoppable.
#8: What advice would you give someone who is struggling to find their personal style?
Think about what kinds of pieces draw your attention. Not every piece and style of clothing works for everyone, but you never know until you try it on! Get inspiration from bloggers, celebrities, friends, but don’t copy others – find what is best for you and flatters your figure! Clothes that fit properly is a must for me, as loose or incorrect fitting clothing can totally cramp your confidence!
#9: What is your go-to power outfit?
Depends on the occasion, but in general for a day of work in the lab: Dark skinny jeans, a pretty blouse, and some heeled boots. For conferences and interviews – a black form fitting midi skirt, a nice matching blouse/top, and a blazer!
#10: How do you feel women could do a better job supporting one another?
It’s easy to compare yourself to others and get jealous of what others are achieving – especially with social media, sometimes I find myself comparing to other bloggers or people and start feeling down on myself. The thing is, just because someone else is successful doesn’t mean you can’t also be successful!
Supporting others is the first step, so being open to talk and collaborate with others can go a long way to build an uplifting community!
#11: Do you ever experience social media envy? If so, how do you overcome it?
Yes. It’s so hard with the ever updated feeds, perfect photos, perfect lighting, perfect skin, hair, fast follower growth – it’s hard! Sometimes I feel like a failure when I see others growing so much faster than me, when I’ve been blogging for a much longer time. But the thing is, they aren’t me, and I need to focus on my own followers and engage with them. We get caught up in the follower numbers, but we don’t realize we already have a huge following. Even 3000 followers – may seem very low nowadays, but just think that there’s 3000 people who are watching your blog/business/brand!
#12: What advice would you give to an aspiring blogger?
So much to say – but one of the most important things is to not compare yourself to others – you can find yourself down a rabbit hole. Don’t copy others to try to make it like them – be yourself, be creative, create your own content and style, and the followers will come! Be true to yourself, because people can sense when posts are fake and not genuine!
Collaborate with others – whether in person for photoshoots, or work on similar post series, whatever – the community you build speaks way more than follower numbers.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this series on the blog! If this is something you enjoyed and want to see more of, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear what your biggest takeaway is from these posts, and what woman empowerment means to YOU!
Dear Andrea, such a great post, as usual! And you always look gorgeous! I agree with you, women can be friends, women can and should support each other and I am glad you have TheStemSquad! Media ad magazines or bloggers photoshop their pictures, to the point that they look like other people – but then, what’s the point in editing an own life, leaving social media and facing the real life, if they don’t like it? It’s all so fake these days! I am so glad that you have a postdoc job now and very proud of you! I am also very conscious about posing, I even think my pictures are so stupid, because I refuse to pose “this way, that way” 🙂 Loved your post! Hope you have a very nice day!
Hi Andrea! Awesome blog post, as always! I agree with you regarding the importance of women supporting each other instead of backstabbing and bullying. We can achieve so much more when we stick together!
I have just opened a new blog and I’d love to know what you think: Scent of Summer