What has been the biggest highlight of your career?

Volunteering in a HIV &TB research laboratory in Kenya. For me this was a precursor into what I hope my career becomes whilst also combining my love for my continent and the work I do.

Are there different cultural influences for how STEM is done, in comparison to the STEM space in Australia?

I am currently looking at different influences in an effort to find my own approach to being in the STEM space. In my endeavours, I have found the American and the South African STEM spaces to have influenced me the most. America has a well established STEM space and South Africa has women who look like me being pioneers in their spaces.

How has your cultural background shaped your understanding of STEM? How important is STEM in your culture versus here in Australia?

I saw STEM as a tool to creating better conditions for society and that is the importance it still holds. In Australia, I think STEM is kind of the silent cog working in the background. There isn’t as much emphasis or awareness.

What has been the biggest barrier for you as a culturally diverse person?

Whilst I can acknowledge the intrigue in my cultural background or story, I must also communicate when is an appropriate time to have these discussions. My biggest barrier has been where my boundaries are and remaining steadfast in them. So yes, I am black with an Australian accent that has a twang of a British accent in it but we are currently discussing the spectrophotometric component of this machine.

What is something that you are most proud of about your cultural background?

The emphasis on education, Zimbabweans are amongst the most educated in the world. I think my love for education and desire to continue to learn has been cultivated from a young age.

[Source: STEM Women Blog, Australian Academy of Science.]