Welcome to this brand new iteration of #include “women.h”.
You might wonder as to why we need ‘advocates’ for supporting women who want to pursue a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), and why is it that the need arose for me to create an entire segment on this matter.
We need the advocates because, across the world, there are still many places where people believe women to be inadequate, and not intelligent enough to pursue a career in STEM. Women in STEM is a global movement aimed to break this stereotype and Ionizer is doing its bit via #include “women.h”. Through this segment and these interviews, we aim to inspire everyone, women and men alike, to follow their hopes and dreams.
So, here I am once again; back with another interview, and I should tell you, I am back with a BANG. I have had the good fortune to interview a strong advocate for Women in STEM – Marie-Philippe Gill!
Marie is presently a software engineering student at École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS). She is a part of the core team of Women Techmakers – Montreal. She is an established and motivating blogger; an inspiration to everyone, especially young girls who want to pursue their careers in the field of technology.
Let us get to know her more through this interview.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi! I am Marie, a software engineering student in Montreal, Canada. I am a blogger at Girl Knows Tech (GKT) – https://girlknowstech.com, an Instagrammer, YouTuber, president of a student club for women in engineering called Les INGénieuses… But most importantly, I work hard to inspire other women and young girls to pursue a career in STEM!
When and how did you come up with the idea of starting GKT?
When I was 13, I started a blog where I would write book reviews. I worked on it every day. When I started studying computer sciences at 16, I started spending more time on my computer instead of reading books, so I couldn’t publish any new blog posts as I wasn’t reading any books.
For the next couple of years, I missed having a blog but I already knew it was a lot of work, and I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea for me to get back into it. I finally gave in to my wishes in March 2016, when I created GKT. I wanted a blog about technology as it was my new passion. Since I’m involved in everything that has to do with women in tech, my blog naturally has posts about this subject too.
|Before we move to the next question, I feel the need to brief you on GKT. Marie’s blog should be your go-to if your inspiration fuel is ever running low. She posts interviews with leading ladies in Tech. She posts about hackathons and tech/coding conferences that she attends. She works so hard to accomplish her goals that it shows from her work and gets you equally pumped to do the same!
I would also recommend you to follow her Instagram Account – https://www.instagram.com/girlknowstech, where she posts tidbits of information, giving us all daily inspo!
She also posts her study sessions on her YouTube channel.
Do you like to stay active on social media? Which platform is your favorite and why?
Yes, I really enjoy social media! It’s one of my greatest strengths. I have a Facebook page for my blog, an Instagram, a Twitter, a Pinterest account… My favorite one is Instagram, because I can connect with followers really well there, except replying to private messages, that’s a pain! I wish I could reply to these messages on my computer instead of on my phone only. My thumbs hurt sometimes (seriously)!
I would also say that I really like Facebook, but they are lowering the reach of organic [Facebook] page posts and that’s kind of a bummer right now!
How do you balance your study, work, and personal life?
That’s a good question!
For studying; that’s kind of hard for me. A lot of people could say I study too much, but I am someone who really struggles and needs to work 3 more hours than anyone else on something until I get it.
I have ADHD, so that’s something I have learned to accept, and I just put in the work, no matter how much time it will take me.
When you have a really busy schedule, it also helps, because then you have a lot of pressure, and pressure really helps with getting work done in time. I would say that my number one priority is the university, then my personal life, then my blog.
So how do I balance everything? I keep everything organized. I use iCal to plan everything so I don’t forget any meetings and I use Todoist to write everything I need to do.
Picture I took when I was writing a résumé for my differential equations class #11 😁 ••• Who is excited to study for finals? 😂 I am, a little. I kind of enjoy being able to manage my own time and stay in PJ’s if I want to, etc 😁 I am also excited to try and vlog my revision days for my YouTube channel! When are your exams??😊😊
What, according to you, are the most useful things/resources on the internet, in the present day?
That’s a really great question! I would say Google is a really great resource. In tech, we all need to have that instinct of going to Google first for any question we have, instead of asking someone. Being independent is an asset.
It is somehow a general notion that women find it hard to deal with tech. Have you ever come across someone with the same thought process? If so, how did you deal with the situation?
Yes, I meet “old school” people. I always try to have an honest conversation with them, and kindly ask them questions to make them start thinking about their own beliefs. I also tell them my point of view which is that any woman can do whatever she wants in terms of a career, whether it’s in tech or in the military, anything.
I have no problem discussing and disagreeing with someone, as long as we all stay civil and the other person is not insulting me. When that starts happening, I usually block the person and move on with my life.
I “like” to get reality checks like this though, as weird as it sounds. It just reminds me I still have a lot of work to do. I live in Canada and I usually don’t encounter any huge problem to be a woman in tech. It’s not as easy in every country though.
What tips would you like to give budding tech entrepreneurs?
Do everything you can to keep the passion alive, stay or get organized, and put in the hours to make it happen.
Took a picture of my work space this morning for my Facebook group for women in tech and I just felt sooo grateful for every tech thing I own. 👩🏼💻 So lucky to be able to save money and buy what I want to when I can. 💖 not everyone is that lucky! I have litterally everything I ever wanted in terms of tech gadgets, so I just feel something g is going to happen to either one of them because it can’t be perfect for too long… 😒Let’s hope it is. 💖 have a good day! 💪
Describe yourself in one word.
Would you call yourself a tourist or a traveler?
A traveler! I just bought a new camera, and I know I’ll be taking tons of pictures on my next trip!
If you had the chance to move anywhere in the world and work, where would it be and why?
I haven’t been to Europe much, so I’d love to move to France maybe. I have met a lot of friends [who live there] on the internet that I’ve been talking to for years. I’d love to meet them and discover their culture.
You can follow Marie on:
I know you are buzzing with motivation after reading Marie’s insightful answers, so here, I will ask you to share it with your fellow friends in and out of STEM, who can put this motivation to use. And with this, my dear friends, the interview concludes. I’ll be back very soon with more stories of inspiring women in STEM.