Beyond Printer Director, Domino
Women are being urged to be themselves and adopt their own, unique style as they aspire to leadership positions within the STEM sector. Companies must also do more to attract and enable women to fulfil their potential.
Effective role models within an organisation are key to helping more women reach senior leadership positions within the STEM sector. Carole Noutary, Beyond Printer Director at Domino Printing Sciences, also underlines the pivotal role senior leaders play in making everyone feel listened to and respected as businesses strive to create a more diverse working environment.
Biggest challenges for women in STEM
Noutary, who has held a number of senior jobs within STEM, says that one of the biggest challenges women face in reaching leadership positions is the lack of role models at the senior level within STEM industries.
“Tech companies typically have very male-dominated cultures that women feel excluded from,” says Noutary. “This environment instils low confidence in women and reinforces stereotypes and unconscious bias. It all adds up to undermining women’s performance and potential.”
Why companies need initiatives for women
While there are often fewer women in strategic positions, leading large teams and in decision-making roles, organisations can take a range of effective steps to begin to address this.
Domino Printing Sciences is working to attract women into STEM careers by partnering with relevant communities that promote women in engineering — including SheCanCode, a female-focused global career platform that works to close the tech gender gap.
While there are often fewer women in
strategic positions, leading large teams
and in decision-making roles, organisations
can take a range of effective steps.
Mentoring and consistent leadership
Noutary says the company actively participates in STEM career events and provides unconscious bias training to help colleagues avoid social stereotyping. “We also have women’s networks within the organisation and mentoring programmes,” she adds.
Another critical element to supporting women is consistent leadership behaviours — embodied in day-to-day work and led from the top. “Leaders should consistently adopt behaviours and mindsets that make everyone feel valued and respected and create a sense of belonging. This allows people to give the best of themselves.”
Support from early stages to leadership
Domino Printing supports women at all career stages — from transitioning, remaining or returning to the tech industry. It also helps companies to reach and engage with women in the STEM sector. Having joined the company as recently as April 2023, Noutary says she is already noticing the impact of those initiatives.
“Thanks to the company’s sustained effort and commitment to increasing diversity. I can see more women joining the organisation both in leadership positions and also — importantly — at entry-level roles. We need representation early on to ensure we can help them grow by giving them the tools to fulfil their potential,” says Noutary.
Embracing opportunities and uniqueness
Advice Noutary would give to women aspiring to leadership roles in STEM is to be themselves. “It is easy to fall into the trap of trying to emulate other leaders,” she continues.
“Women should focus instead on understanding what works for them and embrace their own way of doing things. There are so many things that make us who we are besides gender — including our own personalities, cultural background and beyond — which underpin the unique perspectives and contributions we can bring to an organisation.” She encourages women to embrace their uniqueness. “This is your way of adding value and making an impact. Do not copy someone else.”