From left to right: Katrina Chan, Jane Danglapin-Peña

Every year the United Nations commemorates the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11th, a day which celebrates and encourages the participation of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) careers. Even though there has been progress in having women represented in STEM, women are still largely in the minority. 

At Orion Health, we’re passionate about pursuing gender equality in our workforce and encouraging new generations of young women to pursue STEM careers. To celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we wanted to feature three talented women in technology-centric roles at Orion Health and ask them about their careers.

Jane Danglapin-Peña is our Clinical Implementation Lead in the Manila, Phillipines. Jane is a registered Nurse in the Phillipines, has been with Orion Health for 7.5 years and has a total of 9+ years experience in Healthcare Information System (HIS) Implementation.

Katrina Chan is our Software Engineer Intern in the Performance Engineering Team at Orion Health. She’s currently in her third year of specialising in Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Auckland.

What made you decide to pursue a career in STEM?

Jane: I have always had a passion for providing and improving patient care so I decided to take up a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and took the Board Exam right after I graduated. Then I eventually tried out and explored different fields of nursing, like working in tertiary hospitals and occupational health. I finally had a chance to enter the world of nursing informatics and pursue a career in healthcare information systems (HIS). 

Katrina: I decided to pursue a career in STEM because the way the world works fascinates me. I believe the development of technology is the future of the human race and I am inclined to be a part of this. In high school, I enjoyed calculus, physics and chemistry which naturally led me to pursue an engineering degree. I was further driven to become an engineer when I found out how few women are in this field. I want young girls out there to see that it’s cool to be a girl in STEM and that we are just as capable of succeeding as men in a traditionally male-dominated field.

What are some really cool things that you and people in your profession work on?

Jane: Provision of the best patient care by leveraging technology to promote easy and better access to healthcare. Healthcare and technology are very powerful areas when they’re merged. They help improve workflow and efficiently gather important data, leading to improved patient experiences and health outcomes.

Katrina: I’ve worked on several cool projects during my time at university. Among them are: 

  • Coding VEX robots to complete an obstacle course designing a window washer machine for high-rise buildings. 
  • Creating a CAD design that filters out sediments from water using microfluidic technology, and; 
  • Creating an Oracle exporter for metrics monitoring. 

It’s amazing to see what we can achieve when we work in a team and combine our skills!

How would you like to see the space for women in STEM evolve in the future?

Jane: I believe that the majority of women are already excelling in the STEM path globally over the years. With this, I would like to see more women to continue pursuing these fields and become strong female STEM role models to inspire other women to unleash their great potentials too.

Katrina: I would like to see women in STEM become more common, and see more women in leadership and management roles. I would like to see women be confident in themselves that they are capable and intelligent enough to pursue a career in technology.

Do you have any specific advice for women and girls considering a STEM career?

Jane: Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Continue to display a hunger for continuous learning and improvement. And be open to more challenging senior and/or leadership roles. Whenever you’re afraid when someone is encouraging you to do or lead things on your own, think of the story that one of my mentors once told me, it’s about the story of the mother eagle and baby eagle. When the mother eagle knows that it’s time for the eagle to learn how to spread her wings. Though she knows the baby eagle is so afraid, she still pushes her off the mountain. Why? Because the mother eagle believes the baby eagle is “strong enough to fly”.

Katrina: I think the biggest advice I can give is to stay curious and open-minded. There is so much to learn about the world and there is nothing more satisfying than knowing you finally understood a concept and you can solve a problem that you once couldn’t. It can get tough sometimes but I encourage everyone to never give up – to trust the process and to trust that they can do it. Another big thing is to network, there are so many lovely people out there and there is always something to learn from them!

In summary:

  • Work hard and be kind to others.
  • Be a good leader and respect everyone you meet. 
  • Don’t be afraid to be a woman in STEM!

Interested in a career at Orion Health?