Increasing diversity in STEM subjects
Careers in Science Although recent statistics reveal a positive upward trend in the number of women in STEM, there is still more to be done. Offering a range of subjects at schools and universities – where foundations for a bright future are laid – is essential.
An inclusive and supportive environment, where everyone has the chance to realise their potential is vital for successful learning. Rolling out this approach across STEM subjects, as well as innovative courses such as a year In computing - which has been found to attract a higher percentage of female students - can be the first step into increasing the number of women in STEM industries.
Students are empowered by inspirational role models
But just having the choice of subjects and the support to succed isn’t always enough – seeing other women succeed in the industry can be the missing piece of the puzzle. Having the chance to seeing inspiring presentations from outstanding women - such as Libby Jackson, Human Spaceflight expert and author of ‘A Galaxy of her Own’ and Dawn Bonfield, MBE (former Chief Executive of the Women’s Engineering Society) as well as Catherine Pepin from the Institut de Physique Théorique (CNRS) and Professor Dame Janet Thornton from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, EBI, Cambridge – can be essential.
Breaking down barriers
Seeing talks like these, as well as having the support of excellent female academics, have helped a a number of STEM graduates overcome barriers and go on to fantastic careers in the field.
Kent University’s School of Engineering and Digital Arts graduate Victoria Roots, who was named as one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering (2017), while computing alumna Charlotte Hutchinson, who now works for Google, and was named one of the top 50 women in technology in ‘We are Tech Women’s TechWomen50 awards (2017).
Roisin Sullivan from Sports and Exercise Science, successfully established a referral programme in 2015 focusing on support and rehabilitation for stroke survivors and continues to provide rehabilitation for patients in Kent.
Inspiring the next generation
But inspiring a love of science often starts at school. With an extensive outreach and community engagement programme and a range of projects, such as delivering science workshops to schools across the country, the University of Kent is delivering the message that science is for everyone and hopes to inspire the next generation of scientists – from all backgrounds.
Students at the University of Kent can study a number of courses, from biomedical science to physics and maths, as well as chemistry, computing, sports and exercise science, engineering, multimedia technology and design and digital arts.