International Day of Women & Girls in Science 2021

11 February marks the above. UNESCO launched this annual event to raise awareness of the disproportionately low percentage of females in STEM careers globally.

ICT – 3%

Natural Science, Maths & Statistics – 5%

Engineering, Manufacturing & Construction – 8%

A teacher’s role is, in my view, not to teach but to inspire and ignite the fuse of curiosity. This will plant the seed of curiosity and hunger to learn. Wouldn’t it?

I appreciate teachers have a lot of pressures on them dealing with administration, social issues, Government restrictions and so on.

How many tv shows, YouTube channels, Instagram accounts can you name featuring ‘celebrities’ who have got rich and famous for doing exactly what? Now compare that with how many accounts feature people inspiring others with STEM subjects like Maggie Aderin-Pocock – British scientist and space guru? Probably, like me, you can’t name that many. Why don’t we celebrate and publicise people like Maggie more?

If people aren’t inspired in school, social media, tv/films to explore the possibilities of STEM – how will we get more innovative minds to address future problems? We’ve seen how integral research and science has been in the fight against the global pandemic. Are we naive enough to think there will never be another global catastrophe?

A report by the Geena Davis Institute in 2015 found the just 12% of identifiable STEM roles portrayed in tv/film were played by women.

Children are inspired by what they see. Is now the right time to get the balance more level away from ‘Celebrity’?

Let’s make 11 February count and talk to the young girls in our lives about the possibilities of STEM, looking at the journeys of people like Maggie Aderin-Pocock and others who make a massive difference in lives which often goes unnoticed/celebrated.