Ever wondered how Singapore maintains its air and water quality? Despite global warming becoming more apparent in today’s world, Singapore’s air and water quality remains healthy, thanks to the many people who strive to maintain the balance in our country’s environment.
In the recent episode of Rep Talk, special guest Ms Jelita Teper, Director and Chief Scientific Officer from the Environmental Monitoring and Modelling Division of the National Environment Agency (NEA), shares her story about her climb to the top as a woman leader in the sector of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics known commonly as STEM and hopes to inspire many others to aspire as huge as she did.
Rise to the top
Ms Teper majored in Chemistry prior to her Master’s in Environmental Management. She overcame many obstacles and adversities, some of which includes undergoing a personality change from being reserved to outspoken in order to excel in STEM. She also attributed her success to her interests and passions in her field of work which became a driving force for her to accomplish what she does now.
She highlights how she had become more boisterous in the field, able to compete with her colleagues and not being afraid to voice her opinions the longer she spent working in the field.
Ms Teper mentions that “being able to do what she does and benefit the masses in Singapore positively” was an added factor that bolstered her resilience in working in STEM.
Women in STEM
One common stereotype would be that women in STEM are outnumbered or under-represented in various industries. However, Ms Teper debunks this in her workplace where many people whom she collaborates with in her teams are women.
Women in STEM have started to become popular, breaking boundaries and smashing stereotypes that only men can thrive in such fields. “The nature and preference of work affects the inclination that people would have to be in certain sectors” says Ms Teper. It is unarguable that women are in every industry today, being able to compete with their male colleagues.
Ms Teper remains a figure many women would look up to and one who would model the way for women in STEM in Singapore. Being able to have a support system and a diverse lifestyle while working in STEM aids Ms Teper in being efficient in the industry and she advises aspiring students to do so too to enrich their lifestyle. In the words of Ms Teper: “Find your passion, go for it and never give up”.