Apparently, all issues are connected; the lack of feminine perspective in science has probably a lot to do with neglecting the role that space and vacuum has in this what we call the physical realm. And, probably it´s no coincidence that because of it, we have a belief system based on scarcity and competition, instead of abundance and collaboration.
As a part of my series featuring accomplished women in STEM, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Inés Urdaneta, physicist in the domain of light matter interaction at the atomic, molecular and solid-state scales. Before joining Torus Tech and the Resonance Science Foundation, she participated in international research projects on a variety of subjects, specializing in nanotechnology and related. At present, she focuses on developing physical-chemical models in the frame of the holographic model and unification theory developed by Nassim Haramein, together with quantum information processes and their connection to black holes and to proto-consciousness.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Dr. Urdaneta! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
It is difficult to choose a path before knowing what it is about, and before knowing oneself. I was having a hard time trying to decide what I wanted to become, mainly because I didn’t find any outside shining figure I would like to resemble. After a wide exploration of topics including art, archeology and engineering, eventually and through a very nonlinear process, I became a scientist. I later realized science gathered many aspects of the other domains; it offers a diversity of opportunities that enhance creativity and imagination, while at the same time being very concrete and practical. It allowed all sort of experiences and encounters with very interesting people all around the globe, united by the same language we are creating, through our work and conferences. In academy and research, you build your career and become your own leader, hierarchy is less vertical as each is responsible of their own work, while at the same time being part of a huge community of equals. Leadership has to do with what we do and how we do it, and in both cases, all parties involved have to be very proactive, communicative and curious. Most of the time it doesn’t happen that way, unfortunately. Nevertheless, I considered it to be a very complete, balanced and fulfilling activity that is also very useful and important to humankind.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?
Well, the most interesting part of that story is having made it up to here. Many extraordinary coincidences made it possible, which I am very grateful for.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
That would be the communication or network interruptions during some online meetings. It was probably more uncomfortable than funny, but it had its moment of laughter at some point. The lesson would be, keep calm and find the solution.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Innovation. It is a place where sensibility, imagination and creativity are stimulated and appreciated.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Yes, several exciting projects which have to do with a change of paradigm in science and our interpretation on nature of reality. One of the most important applications concern energy extraction.
Are you currently satisfied with the status quo regarding women in STEM? What specific changes do you think are needed to change the status quo?
The situation has improved enormously, but I wouldn’t say we have reached a satisfactory state. Women still have a considerable handicap with respect to men. All along my career, I felt I was being treated as a woman, for better and for worse. I remember I had an interview once, the topic concerned women in science, and I mentioned that women are not drawn to science for many reasons that have nothing to do with our abilities, but with a lack of interest in an interpretation of reality that doesn’t resonate with our own experience. The science that predominates bases on the premise that the universe works as a random machine with no higher organization frameworks, and all the conclusions derived from that premise, or most of them, are male driven narratives. I am sorry women have been drawn into this male driven competitiveness, when women would naturally be more cooperative and perceive the system as a whole. For instance, in the complex system department at UNAM (Universidad Autónoma de Mexico) up to the last time I checked, the complex system group of more than 30 scientists but had no woman included. It was shocking to see the picture of the group, all men, no women, especially when you would think that maternity is one the most complex systems ever. Apparently, all issues are connected; the lack of feminine perspective in science has probably a lot to do with neglecting the role that space and vacuum has in this what we call the physical realm. And, probably it´s no coincidence that because of it, we have a belief system based on scarcity and competition, instead of abundance and collaboration.
Then there are subtleties such as appearance. Many times, I would try not to dress too feminine, so my work and opinions would be taken more seriously. And also because it is more comfortable to wear jeans, t-shirts, and tennis shoes, than to wear skirts, high heels, etc… but then at some point I started to feel I wasn’t able to wear feminine clothing and I would feel inferior or less attractive that women in general, while at the same time compensating this lack with a kind of intellectual superiority. I wonder if with men it happens the same, and so the “intellectual” ones, which are mostly bullied since childhood, became scientists in order to compensate what they felt was a lack. Something very similar happens with respect to maternity.
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
Enjoy what you do and enhance meaningful feedback with others. Take time for yourself, and have your team have the same spare time. Motivate activities that improve the quality time together, and interaction with nature. Be mindful and brave enough to share your weaknesses.
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
Try to keep an organic environment.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Yes, I am very grateful to Amira Val Vaker for her support, it was through her that I could be part of the organization I work with. She is very receptive, mindful and generous. I feel blessed having her as partner in work, and as a friend. And more generally speaking, I am grateful towards each person I have encounter in my life, for it has been this complex network of interactions what made it possible to be here. Once I was asked what was what I liked most of other people, and my answer was quite simple: that they exist. It seems like a very simple answer, but it touches very profound aspects of what we call reality.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
By being an example of what I believe is true for me. I don’t expect people to follow my lead, my message is that we can all thrive together, helping each other in the path of becoming the leader of our own life.
What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience as a Woman in STEM” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. Be truthful, in order to be trustful.
2. Set limits, firmly and kindly.
3. Always turn around the mirror: what is the situation telling about myself?
4. Balance intellectual activity with sensorial activities
5. Stimulate contact and interaction with nature
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
The only true path I have experienced that can help others, is through example. When someone has clarity of mind, and knows what she or he wants, when someone has a purpose that transcends their own interests, he can share that calling, that dream, that idea with people, and inspire them on that same path. This is different to wanting to become a leader, the intention behind the intention is very different. We are surrounded by information, excessive communication, everyone wants to lead other people´s life, without training people to become leaders of their own life… and without realizing that if I want to be a leader, there must be people to lead, so then a very subtle message underlies, the leader has to persuade others, that it is he who knows best. His ultimate goal is not a realization of a transcendental vision beyond his persona, but the search to transcend himself, by means of others; the ego wanting to have others working for him. When someone wants to become a leader or speaks as an authority in a certain domain, the first question I ask myself is this: what kind of leadership is he aiming at? we are not communicating our true self, but the idea of what we think we are, or who we would like to be perceived. It´s always radiating outward, with no gravitational counterpart grounding to self. After meeting all sort of leaders, I got to this very simple conclusion: the best ones, are those who don´t want to lead, because they understand all what lies behind. But they decide to lead because someone has to do it. Having said all this, I would emphasize the importance of psychoanalysis and interior work, so people can have clarity of mind, and be able to initiate their own path to realization, in order to truly celebrate existence. Most people live like they were turned off, they don´t shine. How could one shine, if one is not aware of our own existence, because we are too worried trying to be someone else? In order to shine, to feel deep joy, that joy comes from the gratitude of feeling alive, and then one can celebrate our own existence and appreciate the existence of others for who they are. Something so basic, so simple, the very starting point of all relationships, given for granted… evidently, religion and generalizations have a huge responsibility in this domain. And the predominant science as well; religion kidnaps spirituality — individual experience- and science neglect its existence, so our inspirational source has no “reason to be” and our will is useless compared to the laws of nature or god. The result or aspirational outcome tends to be predator, lacking empathy towards each other and nature. We act like an orphan humanity in that sense.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Freedom isn’t for all, but for each… free Yourself from being someone else…
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Jody Foster. Elon Musk, Madonna.
Thank you for joining us!