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Dr Lakshmi Ramachandran, PhD



National University Of Singapore
I started my journey through science at the age of 16, hoping to impact the world positively through scientific research. Ten years down the lane I obtained my doctorate in Cell and Molecular Biology with a Dean's award from Roswell Park Cancer Centre, Buffalo, NY, USA.

Despite having an opportunity to pursue my postdoctoral research at MIT, Boston, I chose to work in India, and embark on drug discovery research at Astrazeneca India. I was excited to be part of efforts to find novel drugs for unmet medical needs. However, a personal challenge led to a career break.

Following the career break and motherhood, after much persistence, I ventured back into science through alternate careers including science communication and research administration.

However, I lacked the guidance and direction in the way forward and upward in these new roles. I recognized the struggles that women in science and technology face to find the right balance between personal and professional aspirations. As a result, many drop off the STEM pipeline or experience lack of career direction or career stagnation, and find it tough to break the glass ceiling and move into leadership roles.

That was the time when my focus shifted from building solutions in science to building solutions 'FOR' people in science. I became an active proponent for women in science/STEM and co-led the first global Gender Summit in Singapore which was attended by major stakeholders in science, policies and media. I have also spoken at many Girls and Women in STEM Initiatives.

However, through my experience and observation, I recognized that for a bigger change to happen towards retention of women in STEM, it is not enough for policies alone to change. There needs to be more self-awareness and self-empowerment within the community. Today I am working towards developing effective leaders in STEM through coaching and training in areas such as Raising Emotional Intelligence towards a Healthy Workplace', 'Overcoming feelings of doubt and inadequacies through an Enoughness mindset', 'Effective Communication' and 'Living a Productive, Fulfilled life'.

Through this work I hope to build an empowered science community that fosters an innovative and creative environment through exemplary leadership, great work environment, and collaboration.
I share and inspire other women by coaching, mentoring, as well as openly speaking up about the challenges I faced and how I manage/overcame that.

I am currently coaching a group of very talented young women in STEM through the Alkemist Coaching Initiative by Katalyst India.

I have led initiatives to support and empower women in STEM including co-leading the Gender Summit in Singapore.

I have worked in partnership with women's empowerment organisations such as United Women Singapore, Keynote Women Speakers Singapore, Spunk Go, Katalyst India and Singapore Women in Science.

Below are a few links that include my speeches and media coverage:

1) Speech on why the world needs more women in science and technology:

2) UNESCO article: