Nitasha Syed (5’2’’) is the founder of Unboxd, a media platform that celebrates the beauty of intelligence through the voices of inspiring women in STEM.
Nitasha’s interest in technology was first piqued by her father who is a computer scientist. From taking apart his old laptops to learning basic practices in programming, she received an early exposure to tech that’s not very common (especially for young women). When choosing a career path, she chose to follow in her father’s footsteps, majoring in computer science and later finding a career as both an engineer and product manager.
Throughout her experience in tech, Nitasha was well aware of the many unflattering descriptions of women in STEM. Popular culture often shows them as being stiff, boring, and unattractive, and as a society we’ve learned that beauty and charm are for the non-intelligent and intellect belongs to the nerdy and socially awkward. But Nitasha knew these perceptions were both untrue and heavily damaging to the potential of young women who believed this.
“It pains me to think about how many women could have pursued STEM had the stereotype of women who work in STEM been different in the media”, says Nitasha. Unfortunately, she’s had many women tell her they were interested in math or science but made a conscious decision to stop pursuing it so they could fit in socially. This is ultimately what led her to start Unboxd.
Unboxd is aiming to give these girls their STEM role models by sharing the stories of women currently in the field. With inspiring features on some of today’s movers and shakers, the Uboxd team is helping to slowly change the narrative about these women while giving young girls new role models to look up to.