By Joseph R. Mathieu

During fall 2021, the Faculty of Engineering and Design (FED) launched its new Women in Engineering & IT (WiE&IT) Program. One of the first of its kind in Canada, the program aims to help close the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) industries through mentorship, networking and experiential learning. Sixteen industry and government partners support the program in its goals to change perceptions and foster interest in engineering, technology and innovation among women within Carleton’s community.

The lead sponsor of the program is Trend Micro, a global cybersecurity company that leads the industry in bolstering B2B cloud systems. In this profile, FED asks Shan Rao—a Software Developer in Test for Trend Micro who completed her Masters of Computer Science in China in the early 2000s before moving to Canada to continue her career—5 questions about why she wanted to pursue a career in STEM and how she landed her current role.

Shan Rao, Software Developer in Test, Trend Micro.

How and when did you know you wanted to pursue a career in STEM?

I knew I had a passion for STEM early in my life. I decided to study computer science because I enjoyed solving problems and acquiring new knowledge. When I was at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, there were several major technology companies on the rise. They were bringing about a revolution that could change people’s lives for the better and I wanted to be part of that.

How did you find your current role at Trend Micro and what do you like most about it?

When I came to Canada, I had a big interest in cybersecurity. So when Trend Micro was hiring I applied right away. I already knew Trend Micro was a well-known company. Luckily, I joined the company as a software developer.

Everyone working at Trend Micro has many opportunities to grow professionally and technically. I never met a company as generous as Trend Micro when it comes to investing in their employees’ professional development. Trend Micro takes everyone’s contribution seriously and genuinely cares about everyone’s idea. The company has built a multicultural working environment that increases team diversity and catches the attention of many women engineers. Also, our Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eva Chen is a remarkable woman.

What is your favourite thing about Trend Micro’s commitment to promoting women in STEM?

They give women a lot of options when it comes to promotion, training or other career opportunities. But they give opportunities to everyone, regardless of their gender. Also Trend Micro offers flexible working hours and work-from-home options to support the female employees in coping with the various needs and emergencies of their family and children.

On International Women’s Day every year, Trend Micro holds various celebrations internally, such as inviting their excellent female employees to share their own journeys to celebrate women’s achievements and raise awareness against bias.

Trend Micro has also engaged in many activities that are part of diversity initiatives. One of them is this partnership with Carleton University and another one is with the nonprofit Girls in Tech, where women employees act as mentors for young girls interested in STEM. We hope that in the future, these girls will pursue STEM careers or maybe join Trend Micro. Maybe they will inspire more girls around them to pursue a path in STEM too.

What’s one thing you think allies could do better when it comes to supporting women in STEM?

I think all companies can help. Even though most employees at other STEM companies are men, I think they can play an important role in supporting women. They can use their voices to call for gender equality and inclusion of women in all career opportunities instead of making assumptions that women cannot do some things.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received as a woman in STEM?

Regardless of your gender, everyone should pursue a career that is motivating and personally fulfilling.

I would like also to quote one of my colleagues, a team leader at Trend Micro, who said, “Many women write awesome code, secure platforms and build meaningful products all while uplifting the women around them. Their accomplishments may often be silent but their impact is not.”

Thank You

The WiE&IT Program is possible because of the support of Trend Micro.

Monday, March 14, 2022 in
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