The women of CF: Taís Fernanda Blauth
|Date:||07 March 2021|
International Women's Day is celebrated on 8 March around the world. It's a day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements or rally for women's equality.
Today, on International Women's Day, we start this new series of blogs, written by women of Campus Fryslân. Taís Fernanda Blauth will be first.
What are you doing at Campus Fryslân and how did you end up here?
I am a second-year PhD researcher in Campus Fryslân, working on the topic “Artificial Intelligence and International Relations” and I am also part of the Data Research Centre (DRC). During my Master’s studies, I started to look for a PhD position that would allow me to focus on my interests around the interactions between technology and society. The position I found in Campus Fryslân was a perfect match! When I learned more about this new and vibrant Faculty and its motto “global challenges, local solutions”, I knew it would be a great fit.
What do you like most about your work at Campus Fryslân?
One of the things I like the most about being part of Campus Fryslân is the opportunity to work with incredibly supportive, open-minded, and inspiring colleagues. It did not take long until I realised that the CF community is not only composed by outstanding professionals, but also, friendly and fun people. The diverse and rich research environment also makes the experience in Campus Fryslân unique. I enjoy exploring my interests and analysing my research topics from different perspectives, in addition to collaborating with colleagues on different projects.
Who inspires you?
My parents are my greatest inspiration in life. They have always worked hard and with enthusiasm towards their goals, encouraging my brother and I to do the same. From my mom, I learned how to be well-organised, that a smile can go a long way, and to always value people who are by your side. From my dad, I learned to solve problems with creativity, plan ahead, and find happiness in the little things and simple moments. They have always believed in me and helped me through difficult times, and they are surely my biggest role-models.
What advice would you give to your student self?
During my undergraduate studies I was working a full-time job while pursuing a Law degree during the evenings. This means that, for almost 7 years, I had to dedicate my weekends to long hours of study. I barely allowed myself to enjoy the academic social life. So if I could give a piece of advice to my student self from years ago, it would be: Study hard but also have some fun along the way! After going through this experience I realised how necessary it is to have a balanced lifestyle. Now I am a proud social officer of the PhD Council, organising fun activities and games for our PhD community :-) If there is a social event in Campus Fryslân, you will probably see me there!
How do you deal with being a woman in a man’s world/industry?
During my career in Brazil, I had the privilege to work with amazing women in leadership positions, both in academia and in the industry. They were my role-models, my mentors. However, as I witnessed their success, I also witnessed their many struggles. Problems they had to face for, well, being women. For instance, it saddens me to see that in many companies and academic institutes, motherhood is still seen as something that will damage one’s career. Gladly I see many organisations taking initiatives towards a more diverse and equal workplace.
In fact, I truly believe that we can all contribute to this change. With that in mind, I recently joined two in-house initiatives. I am part of a group of female PhD researchers at the University of Groningen. We have regular meetings, to which we invite brilliant academics in the Netherlands and abroad to discuss relevant issues women face during their careers in academia. I learned a lot from them and from my peers. I am also part of the newly-formed Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee at Campus Fryslân. I was inspired by our initial discussions, and I am positive we will have fruitful collaboration within our Faculty.