University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Marija Gajdardziska-Josifovska has a piece of advice for young women who want to pursue a career in the science, technology, engineering, art and mathematical fields: Ensure that you participate in as many opportunities afforded to you — even if you’re the only woman in the room and it’s a bit awkward.

“Part of it is to force yourself to enter a room where everybody is going to be a man – even for just a cup of tea – because you have to be there for the formal professional things and the informal social things,” said Gajdardziska-Josifovska, an inventor, professor and dean at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Graduate School. “Sometimes the social things are the ones that are the easiest to opt out of because they’re not compulsory.”

Gajdardziska-Josifovska is one of several Milwaukee-area female leaders who talked about challenges they’ve faced throughout their careers in STEM and offered up advice for young girls and women who want to pursue the same path. Read the full story here.