UP NISMED collaborates with ILO, Austrian Embassy, and CISTEM for the 3rd Women in STEAM Summit

(Left to right): Atty. Jocele Batapa-Sigue, Undersecretary for ICT Industry and Development at DICT; Dr. Vallerie Ann I. Samson, Deputy Director at PNRI; Dr. Charisse T. Reyes, Dean of the Faculty of Education at UP Open University; and Ms. Hillary Diane Andales, PhD candidate in Physics at the University of Chicago share their journeys as women in STEAM, enriching the event with insights and experiences from their respective fields.

"The challenge today is not just to encourage girls and women to enter STEAM, but to support them in staying in the field and taking on greater roles."

Echoing this sentiment, the third iteration of the annual Women in STEAM Summit, held on 13 February 2024 at the UP NISMED Auditorium, underscored the importance of not just inclusion but also empowerment and growth within the sector. Organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO)-Philippines, in collaboration with the Austrian Embassy Manila, UP NISMED, and the Center for Integrated STEM Education (CISTEM), the summit was themed "Transforming Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, Arts, and Mathematics through Lifelong Learning." 

The summit drew 111 participants on-site and more than 1500 viewers online through live streams on the UP NISMED Facebook page and NISMED TV YouTube channel. The summit’s agenda was punctuated by insightful talks by prominent women in STEAM. Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, the Undersecretary for ICT Industry and Development of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, delivered a compelling keynote message on the untapped potential of women in ICT. Dr. Vallerie Ann I. Samson, Deputy Director of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, shared her experiences navigating the traditionally male-dominated field of physics, while Dr. Charisse T. Reyes, Dean of the Faculty of Education at the UP Open University (UPOU), discussed the microlearning programs and microcredentials offered by UPOU to support professionals in advancing their careers.

The Fireside Chat with Ms. Karen Davila and Ms. Hillary Diane Andales, the 2017 Breakthrough Junior Challenge winner, was among the summit highlights. The conversation delved into Ms. Andales's academic journey as an aspiring astrophysicist and the challenges women face in STEAM fields. The event also included hands-on workshops on a variety of themes led by prominent women in the sector. The summit concluded with a reflective panel discussion that emphasized the importance of STEAM competencies for lifelong learning. In her closing remarks, Ms. Linartes Viloria (National Coordinator of the Women in STEM Workforce Readiness and  Development Programme, ILO CO-Manila) emphasized the significance of celebrating the accomplishments of women in STEAM fields and expressed hope for the future iterations of the summit where participants would share stories of how STEAM initiatives have transformed lives, particularly those of girls and women.

The Women in STEAM Summit is part of the ongoing efforts of the ILO, Austrian Embassy, UP NISMED, and CISTEM to promote gender equality in STEAM education and careers, aligning with the UN Celebration of Women and Girls in Science.