Meet Sian Wanjiru Kiri, a Consultant with MBA from the University of Cape Town

October 8, 2018


Sian’s Bio

I have an MBA from University of Cape Town (graduate June 2018), Master of Engineering in Pharmaceutical Chemical Engineering from University of Leeds and a Diploma in Management and Leadership from Chartered Management Institute.

Why did you get into STEM?

My love for the sciences! I find it fascinating that most (if not all) things on earth can be explained through physics, chemistry and biology. I found I could easily understand Physics as I could relate it to visually and through day-to-day activities for example the best way to explain gravity is by observing an object fall! This directed me to engineering and opened up a whole new world. Engineering to me is basically about solving problems by providing innovative solutions using simple resources around us. If we need to cross a river, let’s build a bridge – that may oversimplify engineering but that’s how I see it, how can we solve day-to-day problems with what we have.

What do you consider your greatest achievements?

One of my key moments, was taking part in a STEM talk and awareness with RootEd Africa in a primary school in Kabaru, Kenya. A group of young female professionals (with a STEM background) shared with primary school students on the different STEM-related courses and their application ranging from manufacturing to design to journalism. My greatest moment was an exercise we did with the students to develop vision boards with the future career and seeing the majority of the girls choosing STEM-related careers. All they needed was information and relatable examples of women in STEM to realise that they could also do sciences.

What challenges have you faced as a woman in STEM and how did you overcome them?

I think the challenges for women in STEM are based on the expectation of a woman not only by men but by the society as a whole. However, one of the main challenges that I would like to focus on is from myself – self-doubt and ‘imposter’ syndrome. This to me has been my biggest challenge and the best advice I ever received was if I wanted to lead others, I have to lead myself first – if there is no enemy within there is no enemy without.

What is your advice to budding women in STEM?

I encourage other women in STEM to debunk the myth that ‘women can’t do science’……..


Disclaimer: Any views or statements expressed are Sian’s and not that of her employer.

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