Celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science
The United Nations General Assembly declared 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. It pledges to empower women and girls and to end the gender imbalance in science.
To celebrate this awareness day and to empower women, we asked our Enterprise Advisers what advice they’d give to young girls to overcome any barriers they may face when pursuing a career in STEM.
Our Enterprise Advisers volunteer for our delivery of the London Enterprise Adviser Network which aims to help young people in London achieve their full potential.
Here are some of their responses:
“Look for women who already work in the field you are interested in, and seek their support. It may seem daunting to contact people you don’t know, but many women will be happy to have a coffee or call with you and provide advice. Often this leads to introductions and mentoring which could help you for years to come. “
Bronny Wilson Regional Head - UK and Ireland Equiem
“The strongest barriers to your success in any sector are often those you keep in your own head: they may come from outside, other people etc but you can banish them all. Delete negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts.
Believe in yourself, stake your claim, refuse to let any external barriers stop you from doing what you believe you can do: everyone has to learn, everyone has to fail at times, and everyone can progress if they have the determination and the focus to succeed, whatever their gender.
Do not wait until you are 100% ready before going for that new opportunity: if you are 75% ready go for it and learn the rest on your way up!”
“Seek women role models online (using Twitter or LinkedIn by typing in keywords to find women scientists ) and reach out to them to ask for career guidance.”
“Based on my experience working with a research and development team and now being part of a male-dominant railway industry I would advise girls:
In science you have a great choice of developing your career within academic or corporate worlds. You are surrounded by extremely talented people who are very passionate about what they do and happy to share their knowledge.
You have a brilliant chance to change the world and future of people.”
“If you focus on your work, you believe in yourself and you stand up for yourself when you instinctively feel things aren’t right, you will go on to achieve your absolute best.”*
“There’s so many exciting opportunities taking place in the Science profession, the world we know needs great minds who dream, have ideas and the passion to make a difference regardless of their gender, race or social background.
Our female pioneers have pushed through barriers and tackling any obstacles by not giving up and seeking support from others - continue to innovate & go for it.”
Antoinette Page, HR Project Manager
“The tech sector now realises that for it to reach its full potential, it needs to fairly reflect the world in which we operate.
When you are researching potential employers, read what they say about being inclusive and how they represent themselves in media.
Do you see as many faces of women and girls as of men? This can give you a fair sense of their commitment to drive a truly inclusive and equal environment for everyone to succeed.
When you are being interviewed, ask about the percentage of women in leadership roles and the organisation’s commitment to change this.
Our Enterprise Advisers assist local schools and college leaders by increasing their engagement with businesses and access to local career resources. It gives young people the chance to capitalise on the career opportunities available to them.