Rosie has been an OC STEM Tutor since 2016. She teaches Maths, the Sciences and Psychology from Key Stage 2 to A level and IB Diploma Level. Rosie also prepares students for entrance exams, University entrance, and supports those with SEND. She is a highly experienced STEM tutor, working to all examination boards.
Children are impressionable. If they are exposed to learning several languages during their infantile years, they are more than likely to be multi-lingual. Yet, despite children being taught STEM at school, they seldom see women scientists in schoolbooks or in the Science Museum.
This lack of representation can make young girls feel as though they have no place in these professions. However, as time has progressed, we have seen more and more women moving into these fields. One prime example is the fight against COVID, and how a large proportion of women scientists comprise of the team working on the frontlines at the University of Oxford, to aid in the development of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine. Another example is of Katie Bouman, the women scientists who helped develop the first image of a black hole.
I have studied STEM degrees in Neuroscience, Psychology, Chemistry and now a PhD in Engineering. So I have first-hand experiences of how male-dominated these fields can be. But also how these fields are changing. I, myself am part of the leadership team for the international organization: 500womenscientists, which represents women scientist globally, and provides support and resources to our member base. This organization has personally shown me the multitude of female scientists around the world in a range of specialties, highlighting that more and more women are pursuing careers in ‘non-traditional’ fields.
Internationally, women are underrepresented in all stages of leadership in STEM-related industries. Studies have shown that women leave STEM fields more often than men, and due to their gender women engineers often feel marginalized during internships, work opportunities, or team-based activities. Last year, a survey of women in science-related jobs, reported that 91% said gender discrimination remains a career obstacle. It is common knowledge that women researchers typically earn less, receive less funding at the crucial start of their careers, and are cited less often than their male counterparts.
As women start to gain more representations in STEM-related fields – I, myself was highlighted for my work in a range of fields, as well as being an engineer within my state – calls more inclusive and diverse environments are underway, and there is more pressure to recruit, support, and sustain girls and women in STEM careers. Thus, this is the perfect time for young girls to explore careers in STEM!
Amid this era of rapid technological advancements, children have access to the internet through a multitude of devices. As a result, they can access numerous resources to ascertain an accurate representation of science today. For younger children, it is pertinent that they’re made aware of the women scientists and engineers in the field. They need tangible role models.
Here are a few resources that exist to support young girls interested in exploring a career in STEM role models in STEM-related fields: Steminism, The Women Engineering Society, Women in STEM (WISE), Engineer Girl!, For Girls in Science, Girls Communicating Career Connections(GC3), Girl Scouts STEM Program, iWASwondering.org, PBS SciGirls, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) K-12 Outreach, Women@NASA.
Rosie, STEM Tutor
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