Join the Conversation: STEM

Join the Conversation: STEM Flickr: Heather Cowper

We’ve been waiting a long time for this one… but it’s finally here. This July we’re going to be talking about one of our favourite topics. It’s women. It’s women doing science. It’s women doing science, technology, maths and engineering.

That’s right people. We’re talking about women in STEM.

Firstly, there just aren’t enough of them. The same numbers of boys and girls take Physics GCSE, but then take just one step up to A-level and only one third of students are girls. Further along the line, less than one in ten UK engineers are women.

In the words of our ambassador Athene Donald: ‘I’m always going to be in a minority. I may be the only woman in the room.’

So why are so few schoolgirls choosing to study science subjects – and why are so few women forging careers from them? There has never been more demand for STEM skills, but for whatever reasons women are getting left behind.

This month, we will ask these questions, explore the solutions, and celebrate the achievements of the women – like many of our bloggers and ambassadors – who have already shattered the STEM glass ceiling.

What I See founder Edwina Dunn is chairing the government’s Your Life initiative, which aims to get more young people – especially women – studying STEM subjects and into STEM careers. You can keep up-to-date with what they’re doing by following the #YourLife hashtag.

Image: Twitter, @Laing_ORourke

Image: Twitter @Laing_ORourke

Over the next few weeks, we will be talking to lots of amazing women in STEM. We are joining up with Science Grrl and The Girls’ Network to hold an evening of STEM mentorship that we hope will inspire young girls, and we have fabulous interviews with blacksmith Joy Manning, Stemettes founder Anne-Marie Imafidon and Women Rock Science blogger Hadiza Mohammed. We are also so excited to release some new ambassador feature films with amazing STEM trailblaizers - so stay tuned for those announcements!

Phew – so much to do. You can watch, read, and explore all of these inspiring stories, including those from our existing STEM ambassadors: Valerie Gibson, Head of High Energy Physics at Cambridge; Athene Donald, Cambridge’s Professor of Experimental Physics; Frances Ashcroft, a renowned research professor at Oxford. As usual you can also share your own STEM Stories with us on Twitter @whatiseeproject.


Valerie Gibson explains the Large Hadron Collider

Over this whole month, we’ll be sharing the stories of women in STEM careers – to show their passion, diversity and successes. They’re all living proof that women can reach dizzying heights in STEM subjects: sung and the unsung. Because we want every girl to know that no path is off limits, and no dream is too ambitious.


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