Angela Brito was born in Madrid but has spent the majority of her life living abroad. From spending her childhood in Australia to her adolescent days in Canada, her experiences—including growing up in a family of engineers, scientists and doctors—have shaped her into the passionate, driven woman she is today. Her love for math started young, which is what initially led her to pursue the Bachelor in Data and Business Analytics at IE University. We spoke to her about her studies and her involvement in the Women Societies Alliance. She shared her key takeaways from this impactful association along with her vision for women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
I’m Angela Brito, a third-year student in the Bachelor in Data & Business Analytics at IE University. I chose to study at IE University because of its values in diversity and inclusivity, as well as its continuous drive to grow and innovate alongside our changing world.
Pursuing a degree in STEM is like continuing my grandma’s path. She was exceptionally talented at math, but women weren’t encouraged to study and she couldn’t see it through. As a woman in STEM, I joined the Women Societies Alliance (WSA) to expand my network and connect with other associations championing women in business and
STEM across top universities in Europe. Women are notoriously outnumbered by men in these fields, and the WSA provides the platform to learn, motivate and support one another.
How important is the Women Societies Alliance in the context of science and technology?
The Women Societies Alliance began as a platform for women entering the finance industry. It has since expanded to include initiatives across many industries. Having a support network for women in STEM is crucial in motivating and empowering women to continue on their path in science and technology. I’ve witnessed firsthand the lack of female representation in the field, and it’s incredibly demotivating.
Being one of four girls in my program, I’ve found this supportive community of female peers and role models to be vital. The Women Societies Alliance provides us with plenty of unique and exclusive resources. Additionally, they create mentorship programs, networking events and connect us to their database of prestigious speakers. These women keep me engaged and driven in my career.
What is the best thing about connecting with a network of female professionals in the same industries as you?
When pursuing a career, having a strong network of professionals can offer support and motivation. However, it becomes even more important when entering an industry where you are underrepresented. Women in STEM often face unique challenges that can be isolating, and connecting with women on a similar path can help you navigate the industry and empower you.
What key learnings from your experience with the Women Societies Alliance will you apply to your program and desired career path?
From a young age, I’ve experienced what it’s like to be one of the few girls in my STEM classes. Math was my passion, so I took advanced math classes outside of school and my teachers recommended I move into more difficult courses. At my school, only a handful of girls were encouraged to move up.
While this was not done out of malice, it’s important to still recognize that there is a societal factor influencing the gender gap in these industries—women do not feel empowered enough to pursue these degrees. Through my involvement with the Women Societies Alliance, I have had the opportunity to be a part of a community of women leaders who support each others’ career goals.
Being in a room surrounded by these women has been one of the most empowering experiences from the WSA. It has motivated me to work toward my goal of becoming a leader in the business world, advocating and inspiring other young girls like me.