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On 15 June, I defended my Phd Thesis titled, “Efficient Neural Architectures for Edge Devices”, in front of an all-female committee. About 4 years ago, I started my Phd, knowing well that there are very few women working in Computer science and fewer still in systems research. I have walked into a room full of men so many times in my career, that sometimes I do not even notice the absence of women in a meeting. I feel strongly that this needs to change.

All-female committee

When it was time to decide on the committee, I told my promoters, Andy Pimentel and Cees de Laat, about my wish to have more female members. This quickly turned into an all-female committee. I do hope that, in the future, an all-female committee will become as routine as an all-male committee.

As a mom to a young girl, the fact is not lost on me that we need more female role models and mentors for the next generation. This not only brings gender equity in scientific research, but also lays the foundation for a strong community where women know that they can aim high. What better way to do this than bring highly esteemed and successful women together and let them take the stage!

Empower female students
As I continue my journey as a postdoc in academic research at UvA, I hope to find more ways to support and empower female students in their research. Here’s hoping that we see more girls aspiring to follow  scientific life when they grow up.