Building Gender Diversity: Celebrating our SUTD Women

Gender diversity at SUTD is important for us to achieve our mission to nurture technically-grounded leaders and innovators, as the different perspectives the respective genders bring are invaluable. This salutes every woman in SUTD.

In Singapore, although the population of males versus females is almost equal, less than 20 per cent of students enrolled in engineering and architecture are females.

In the corporate world, women occupy some 30 per cent of the senior executive positions but just 9.9 per cent on the boards of publicly listed companies in Singapore, behind countries whose economies are less developed.

Specifically, in the sector of science and technology (S&T), about one in four is a woman and this proportion has stagnated in the last decade.

While the number of female IT professionals has grown about 10 per cent since 2011, it is still less than half the growth compared to their male counterparts.

To encourage a higher participation of females in design and technology, SUTD adopts a holistic approach to attract female students, faculty and staff.


SUTD Women in Technology and Design Series

SUTD takes pride in attracting a 40% female student cohort yearly.
The SUTD Women in Technology and Design Series is one of SUTD’s signature events to inspire students, particularly, female students, to design future innovations that will better our world. The themes or issues that students were tasked to solve include ageing, city planning, congestion in transportation and housing, waste management, and air pollution etc. 

Female role models from industry were invited to speak to the students. They include leaders from DP Architects, Changi Airport Group, Rolls Royce, Microsoft, as well as faculty in fields of architecture, product development, nanotechnology, transportation and psychology. 
The SUTD Women in Technology and Design Series runs twice a year, in January and July, since SUTD started.

In 2013, SUTD was awarded AWARE's Cause of the Year (Education) Award for promoting gender balance in male dominated disciplines. It is also the first time for a Institute of Higher Learning to receive the award.

Mastercard – SUTD Scholarship for Women 

To support women in developing strong technical, engineering and leadership skills, Mastercard awards the Mastercard Scholarship for Women at SUTD to outstanding full-time female undergraduates pursuing their third year of studies at SUTD.
Six women have been awarded the scholarship.
Recipients of Mastercard Scholarship for Women for 2017, 2016, 2015 respectively, Chen Jing (left) and Debbie Lim Li Lin, Lin Ying Chieh and Zhao Xi Yuan, Ong Shi Ke and Poh Wan Han.

More on Mastercard Scholarship for Women | View Press release

L'Oréal Singapore Awards

Associate Professor Yang Hui Ying (left), Assistant Professor Dawn Tan and Associate Professor Low Hong Yee.

At SUTD, about 22% (and growing!) of our faculty members are female.
Three of our outstanding Engineering Product Development (EPD) professors, Assistant Professor Dawn Tan, Associate Professor Low Hong Yee, Associate Professor Yang Hui Ying have been awarded the L’Oréal Singapore For Women In Science National Fellowship in 2017, 2016 and 2010 respectively.
The L’Oréal Singapore for Women in Science National Fellowships programme aims to recognize and award talented women in the field of science.

Female Valedictorians

Olivia Seow (left), Jean Lee and Kimberlyn Nicole Tjipto.

SUTD has graduated three batches of students since 2015 and three female students, Olivia Seow (Class of 2015), Jean Lee (Class of 2016) and Kimberlyn Nicole Tjipto (Class of 2017) were selected as valedictorians for their excellent academic and service achievements.

Engineering Product Development (EPD) graduate, Olivia Seow, co-founder of Ring Theory, shrunk the size of a keycard into a ring, creating the Sesame Ring. The Sesame Ring, the first wearable metro pass in America, was adopted by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and made travelling on the metro a breeze for thousands of commuters. More on the Ring Theory:

Jean Lee graduated with a Master of Architecture in September 2017 and is currently working as an architectural assistant at Architects 61, the industry partner for her capstone project. When Jean was at SUTD, she received second place for the Keppel Award of Excellence in 2016 and also interned at Surbana Jurong Private Limited and the Housing & Development Board (HDB), where she worked on residential projects.

Kimberlyn Nicole Tjipto, also from the EPD pillar is the co-founder of Movinc.  Movinc developed an add-on device, EMMA to motorise wheelchairs, redefining mobility among seniors. This device clinched $50k in the Create4Good Challenge in 2017. More on Movinc:

SUTD Women in Technology and Design Conference

Women in Technology & Design: Attracting, Supporting, Retaining, Thriving!
The inaugural SUTD Technology and Design Conference, held on 15 January 2018, discussed issues on attracting, supporting, and retaining women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sectors.
The Conference focuses on four themes:

  1. Attracting women to join the technology and design sectors

  2. Supporting girls and women in school as they prepare for careers in technology and design

  3. Retaining women in these industries through concrete policy and workplace interventions that can mitigate attrition

  4. Thriving! When women are well supported at every stage of their technology and design trajectory, their chances of having successful and rewarding careers is boosted, and these industries will also benefit from their continued participation

Read more about the Conference.