Three leaders from Zimmer Biomet reveal why and how they chose STEM careers and bust some myths and stereotypes about the industry.
Snr. Regulatory Affairs & Quality Systems Lead
I suppose science came naturally to me. I was interested in it from a young age, I studied biology, physics and chemistry at school.
The great thing about STEM is that it opens up so many different career paths. For instance, you can go down the engineering route, work in a laboratory or take a technical route. I chose a technical route, my current role involves the registration of products that influence and improve people’s lives.
The fact that it’s diverse and always challenging is a constant motivation for me. I’m not the type of person who’d enjoy a routine day-to-day job.
My advice to any young person thinking about further education would be to look for a course that offers work experience. Mine did, which gave me invaluable insight into the STEM industry. Also, bear in mind that you don’t need to know exactly what it is you want to do on the day you leave college. Just get into the workforce and then you can move in all kinds of directions, taking advantage of opportunities as they arise. Give it a go. Don’t be shy.
Business Unit Manager
We need to get more girls interested in STEM subjects and give them a better understanding of what a STEM career entails.
That’s why we at Zimmer Biomet participate in a number of initiatives, such as Junior Achievement Ireland, where volunteers work with students in the classroom and through site visits to hear people from different departments speak about their education, roles and careers. We’ve worked with over 700 students in the last year. I was speaking to a class of 43 girls just yesterday about my career path and what I do.
I think young women are surprised to learn how varied and interesting my job is. I interact with numerous departments in a very collaborative way and experience many different aspects of the business. One of the great things about my career in STEM is that it has never been boring. There are always new opportunities to learn and develop.
I’ve also achieved a good work-life balance, which has been particularly important to me since the birth of my daughter in 2015. The company has a real focus on flexibility; that’s the same for lots of organisations in the sector these days.
Global Principal IT Lead
I’m lucky because technology is my passion and my job. If I’m honest, though, it took me a long time to figure out what my passion was.
I was good at maths at school and wanted to do an engineering-based degree, but couldn’t imagine designing buildings or roads. I ended up doing an Industrial Engineering and Information Systems degree, and it was the ‘information systems’ part that inspired me down the path towards IT.
If you gravitate towards STEM from an early age, a world of diverse opportunity awaits you in the future. My role involves introducing new technologies to Zimmer Biomet improving peoples experience at work just like the way we use technology to improve our personal lives.
As for me, I wasn’t put off by the male-dominated STEM stereotype; but at college it did sometimes cross my mind: ‘Can I do this as well as the guys on a practical level?’ But there were plenty of females on my course, and I just pushed through those feelings and kept focusing on my own efforts and successes. I’m so glad I did.