Some people in our team are part of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) family. This is where we have learned the importance of networking and have met strong African women in STEM like Shymaa. Today, she walks us through her passion for joining Microbiology, a career path that was initially seen as a man’s field, and how her father has helped her on this journey.
Hi Shymaa, it is an honour to have you as our guest today. Thank you for joining us
Hi, Winnie! I am happy to be here; thank you for inviting me.
Please tell us your full name
My name is Shymaa Enany, and I come from Egypt.
What do you do currently?
I am currently an Associate professor of Microbiology at Suez Canal University in Egypt.
How did you end up in Microbiology?
During my school years, biology was my preferred subject. My father is a professor of microbiology, and he was my role model. He guided me a lot during my study. I wish to be like him one day.
What challenges have you faced in your journey as a Microbiologist?
Like all women, I had faced many challenges! The hardest challenge is managing time between family and my responsibilities as a scientist. Being a mother with 3 kids, a wife, and studying for my PhD abroad – away from my mom’s help – was my biggest challenge.
What motivated you to keep going during that hardest time?
My daily motivation comes from the taste of success at each step. This is my main source of inspiration.
Tell us about your achievements and awards in life
I have received many awards for my scientific contributions. Recently, I won the International Science Council (ISC) Award for Early Career Scientist in Africa in 2021. I received the most prestigious award in Egypt; the state encouragement prize for women in the field of health and pharmaceutical sciences in 2019. Also, I was awarded (TWAS) Young Arab Scientist Prize 2018 for Scientific Achievement in Medical Sciences.
This year, I was appointed Arab Region Executive Board Regional Member of Organization for Women in Science for Developing World (OWSD). I was selected as a member of the Global Young Academy (GYA). I am an alumna of the Egyptian Young Academy of Science, an evaluator on the Academy of Scientific Research, one of the scientific committee of the World Forum for Women in Science, and a selected young leader in STS and WSF.
Who are you outside work?
I am a simple woman.
What’s your favorite quote?
“Consistency doesn’t mean never messing up, it means never giving up” ~ TheShapeWithin.com
How do you encourage a young girl in STEM?
Keep moving, even a little step every day. Little steps make progress one day.
Thank you, Shymaa, for accepting to be our guest for the day. And for the amazing work you do in Microbiology; it’s a true inspiration for the younger generation.