On Thursday 22nd March 2012 I'm going to be keynote speaker at the Women into Science, Engineering and Medicine event at my old school, Ursuline Convent in Wimbledon, to try to inspire the students to consider careers in Science and Engineering,
I studied Engineering at Nottingham University, a degree choice that I know armed me with all the skills to start my own technology business - www.mydeo.com which I set up while on maternity with my first son in 2003. I'm now mum to three boys aged 8, 7 and 2. I doubt whether they will come up against barriers when choosing their educational options, and I hope that girls these days won't either. But my concern is that the statistics show that there are still not enough girls making science and techology higher educational choices.
STEM careers (science, tehcnology, engineering, maths) still have a bad image (geeks, nerds, white coats, hard hats) that put young girls off choosing science and tech at GCSE, A-level and above. We must create role models and mentors who girls will aspire to be like. Right now its usually a model, a pop star, an actress - why not a science or technology entrepreneur?
One of the wonderful things about the technology sector I work in is that everyone is judged on their own merits without a thought given to gender, race or age. This is nothing like 'City' culture and I'm proud to be part of it! It's a wonderful sector to work in and if more younger girls knew that we'd eventually see more women in technology jobs, contributing to our economy and influencing the next generation.
I therefore find myself with not only the opportunity, but the duty to inspire and influence young girls to consider science and technology career choices. Thats why I'm a big suppoerter of the WISE campaign and that's why I'm looking forward to meeting to the Ursuline girls next month.
Ursuline High School in Wimbledon is also where Independent Mayoral Candidate, Siobhan Benita, went to school. In fact, we were in the same class for maths! http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/feb/23/london-mayoral-election-s...