Creating a more equal, prosperous Wales
It’s no secret that the STEM sectors – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – are male-dominated. Two exceptions overall are probably the biological sciences and medicine, but even in these sectors, many of the top posts are occupied by men.
I’ve been delighted to have been involved with the Welsh Government’s Women in STEM Board since May last year. The Board has strong representation at the Ministerial level, and is also populated by highly influential Champions of Women in STEM from across industry and education.
I believe that it’s not just industry and education that face challenges with facilitating the pathway to fulfilling STEM hobbies and jobs, but the whole of society. That’s why I took on the role of Chair of a sub-group dealing with communications for Women in STEM.
The two main outputs from the communications sub-group have been:
- A twitter account to help promote and publicise WiSTEM issues in Wales
- An online directory of Champions for Women in STEM in Wales
The benefits of having a more equal STEM workforce are strongly overlapping with the values of Afallen. We believe that a STEM workforce which reflected gender in Wales would support both a more equal and a more prosperous Wales.
A more balanced STEM workforce also supports three of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, namely a Quality Education (Goal 4), Gender Equality (Goal 5) and Decent Work & Economic Growth (Goal 8).
How can you get involved?
The WiSTEM movement needs support from women and men in all walks of life. Here are some practical things that will help make the STEM sector, and society more widely, more accessible to women, thereby improving prosperity and equality for us all:
- Consider adding your support of Women in STEM to your social media profile. I have ‘Feminist’ in mine, which is a public reminder to myself of the behaviours and actions I expect to hold myself to
- If you’re happy to act as a STEM ambassador in a local school, or happy to speak to the media (print, radio or television) about why it’s important to improve the rates of participation by girls and women in STEM subjects, please sign up to the supporter list
- Sign up to be a mentor (or mentee!) at the Wales Women in STEM site
- Follow the twitter account 🙂
If you have other practical suggestions on how to accelerate equality in STEM for girls, boys, women and men, please let us know in the comments below!