Woman we Need to Know About



Heriot-Watt's Dr Patricia Vargas has been named as one of the '25 Women in Robotics You Need to Know About'.

This is a useful step for raising the profile of key women within robotics around the world.
Dr Patricia Vargas

The 2016 list of leading women roboticists was published in Robohub to mark Ada Lovelace Day, stressing that role models are important and that, even though the total number of women in robotics is still relatively small, they're celebrating that women are leading the way in future developments within this field. This, they say, is important for women in STEM generally as well as for individual careers.

'A recent study from the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford found that visibility was the missing factor preventing women from moving into leadership positions within their organization. This has a cumulative effect on career progression and earnings. These findings support an earlier study with the Anita Borg Institute, who interviewed 1,800 women in technology companies. According to the authors, women reported being less likely than male counterparts to be assigned to high visibility projects, which in turn, has a negative impact on their chances for future promotions.'

Dr Vargas is the Founding Director of the Robotics Laboratory and Associate Professor/Reader in Computer Science and Robotics at the School of Mathematical and Computer Science (MACS) at Heriot-Watt. “I'm honoured to have been included in this list of women in robotics, and am delighted that it has raised attention to the work of the Heriot-Watt robotics team and our work in the Robotics Lab and with the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics.

“As Robohub noted in its published article, role models are important, particularly within STEM, and this is a useful step for raising the profile of key women within robotics around the world.”