“The notion that women should just stay at home or women scientists should just focus on science must be eradicated. We are able to do both, and we are successful in doing our tasks as homemakers and as career women.”
Having a successful job as an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Biology and being a mother of three children, Dr. Daisy May Santos is a true epitome of this women-empowering statement.
Dr. Santos grew up with a budding interest in plants. This interest later became her passion as she took the Biology program in UP Baguio. After her undergraduate studies, she taught for a semester before taking a career shift as a call center agent. She eventually went back to the academe to work as a research assistant in UP Diliman, while pursuing her masters and doctorate studies.
Dr. Santos focuses her research on plant genetics and molecular biology; She currently studies the molecular genetics of coffee. Their research team is looking for molecular markers in coffee that are related to aroma, disease resistance, and yield to help in improving existing Philippine coffee varieties.
While pursuing higher studies, Dr. Santos met her partner in life in the Institute of Biology, Dr. Brian Santos. They have three adorable children. It was a big adjustment for her and her husband but they figured out how to manage being scientists and parents at the same time.
Dr. Santos also shares the credit for achieving her scientific goals while being a mother, to the faculty and staff in the Institute of Biology who have been very supportive of her motherhood journey.
“There would be times when we had to bring the children to the office and even to class. Some faculty and staff would also take turns babysitting the kids. I received the support I needed from them and somehow, they have made my life as a scientist mom easier.”
Dr. Santos highlights the importance of giving women opportunities and fostering a nurturing environment for them to be able to grow and become successful in their chosen career.
“Yes, having the opportunity and being in the right environment contributes to a woman’s success in both endeavors, but I still believe it is the capabilities and determination of a woman scientist that matters in order for her to have a successful career, while also being a mother.”