ScienceGrrl released a report on the cultural barriers faced by girls and young women pursuing STEM. While it's easy to nod while reading the points raised in it, I'd like to take on a more cheerful perspective on how to solve the underrepresentation of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Here are three advantages STEM-literate women have:
As an arts aficionada taking STEM subjects - in my case mathematics and information engineering, and computer science later this year - I've noticed several beliefs that people who tend to avoid STEM hold. By changing these beliefs, I'm sure more girls will find STEM relevant and worth putting effort into.
Ok, then, so what does an engineer look like? This isn't an existential or hypothetical question for me, I would genuinely like an answer. It is remarkable how often I tell people I am studying to be an engineer and the response is just that - Ceri, you don't look like one. It's frustrating that people have these archaic preconceptions!
With Ada Lovelace Day upon us today (an international celebration of the achievements of women in the STEM sector), what better time to rally together and promote these inspirational figures, especially as 77% of the girls we surveyed felt that the science and technology sector lacks high-profile female role models.
It is striking that despite the significant variance in mathematical ability between within gender, generalised binary rules are often applied when discussing these issues. This phenomenon is not exclusive to gender and skills, but seen consistently in situations where there are different groups, leading to stereotype formation.
We want to show young people that maths and science can open up endless possibilities for their future - and for Britain's future too. Our plan for education will ensure that we equip every child with the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed - and our message is that maths and physics can get them there.
They have a bright, bold, and delightful daughter called Zoe - she amused me no end when inventively used our toys to enthusiastically stage a river raid on Noah's Ark by Spider-Man & Hulk to rescue the animals from the clutches of supervillains Annihilus & Joker. Sitting cosily inside the marketing category of 'Girl' is seemingly not for her.