We are the women of STEM

In a world that is moving ever forward both scientifically and technological, we have seen the human race become more aware of the world around them. However, with this ever increasing knowledge, there is still a significant underrepresentation of women in these fields.

And why should this be the case?

The world of science has been littered with females scientists that have changed the way we look and understand the world, and yet, societal norms have prevailed with many claiming that science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) amongst other professions are not “female” jobs.

There have been various initiatives to encourage women to pursue these fields to illuminate the gender bias within the scientific community. So we’ve created a platform for young women to show off where they are and what they want to do.

We’ve asked everyday women who are studying in these fields to tell us a little about their experiences as females in STEM, and why they do what they do.

To make sure that each wonderful women gets her time to shine, we have decided to keep it to three women a post – but keep your eyes peeled, there will be more to come.

Veronica Roodt, Bachelor of Computer Science, Western Sydney University.

“As an individual I have always been amazed by the things that technology can achieve and unlike other subjects in high school ICT just made sense to me. My curiosity for the topic and the job prospects of such a rapidly expanding field inspired me to pursue further studies in the field of ICT. As a female from an all-girls school entering a male dominated field I definitely feared how I would survive but 2 and a half years later I can confirm that at times it does get lonely and isolating. I believe that it’s important for women challenge this status quo and pursue what they enjoy doing or learning. As a good friend once told me females are generally the creative side of developing and males are the practical side and together they solve problems more effectively.”

Chelsea Bentley, Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Clinical Science, Griffith University.

“I decided to pursue science post high school when I attended a summer camp called The Science Experience. It lead me to a fantastic organisation called the Young Scientists of Australia (YSA) who staff the camp and organise opportunities for you to communicate science throughout the year. It was such an amazing experience for me that I joined YSA and have been helping run the camp now every year since. Difficulties that I have faced in studying a STEM degree is having mental illness taken as a serious reason for sometimes needing extra time for assessment items by lecturers. I think as many females as possible should study STEM as even if you do not pursue a job directly to do with STEM it sets you up with amazing skills that you can’t find in any other degree. So much so that I’m president of my university club LiTES (Ladies in Technology, Engineering and Science) which helps females in male dominated degrees network and succeed.”

Mariam Eid, Current Yr 12 student, Moorefield Girls High

“Well I actually want to get into engineering because I’m into all the mechanics and the multiple perspectives on building something. As a female wanting to enter this type of field I feel both uncomfortable and pressured. I feel uncomfortable because  there are a minimum amount of girls in comparison to boys, and also feel pressured due to the fact that there is such a stereotype in regards to females in science/tech, that they don’t know anything, that it could be a negative experience, and how they would fit in. I believe more females should be in engineering and science courses because women have the ability to be more creative and thoughtful, opening the doors to more possibilities in the field. Some of the most important and creative things that were discovered and created (from the DNA structure to the science fiction genre) were by women.”

To see more wonderful women in STEM, follow our blog and keep an eye out on both Twitter and Facebook. If you want to be part of the conversation then tweet or message us with the #wearethewomenofSTEM

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