International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2022
Science is for all! Let's talk ladies in the lab.
Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!
Today we focus on how far we’ve come, and how far we still must go to bring about equality for all interested in science. The 2021 STEM Equity Monitor revealed women fill only 28% of available research positions, and just a staggering 13% of industry positions. Jaw-dropping, hey? So how did I end up here?
My career aspirations have always involved a touch of STEM: from wanting to be a vet as a young child (which dampened upon the realisation this meant surgery…), to a fleeting desire to be a dentist, followed by an overwhelming urge to just keep studying chemistry, wherever that led me. I guess the main point here is that I’ve never felt I couldn’t be involved in science.
Was it down to good parenting? A string of engaging teachers? I think it was just that nobody told me I couldn’t. I remember when I was in first year at uni, my mum dropped that she originally wanted to study metallurgy, but she was told to get a job instead. Brutal, right?! Thinking back, I also had two aunties in the health system with solid science backgrounds and some slightly older friends in Engineering, so I guess I knew of a lot of women in STEM, too.
Even better, start the conversation early.
Make your kids aware of where a career in STEM can lead them, and how rewarding it can be. But the support can’t stop there, how many women have negative experiences once they get into the workforce? Being left out of important meetings, overlooked for promotions, there really are some horror stories out there. Did you know that only 23% of STEM industry leadership positions are filled by women?
I must be honest, I’ve had the good fortune of only having supportive colleagues throughout my career. I’ve never felt singled out due to my gender, and it’s no different here at Dominant. The focus is on your ideas (good or bad!) and if we can (or should…) make them a reality. But I do know that not all have been this lucky, so we must keep the conversation going. Speak openly of your experiences and achievements; for everything we do now will only make it easier for future generations. And that’s what today is all about.