Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Women in IT Rising Star of 2014, Anne-Marie Imafidon (pictured), has been awarded a Points of Light award by Prime Minister David Cameron for her volunteering work to get more girls into technology.
She is the 135th winner of Points of Light UK, which honours shining examples of volunteering across the country.
Imafidon, 24, won her award for her STEMettes group, which she created to encourage more girls to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.
STEMettes was launched in 2013 and has since reached more than 900 young people. The events organised are open to everyone – but 95% of attendees are female. STEMettes was created after Imafidon realised she was one of only three women in her class of 70 maths and computer science students at Oxford University.
STEMettes events highlight successful women in careers related to maths, computing and science through panel events, hackathons, exhibitions and mentoring schemes.
Cameron said: “Anne-Marie’s remarkable achievements and love of technology make her a brilliant role model for young women. Her work with STEMettes entertains, inspires and is creating the next generation of maths and computing female leaders.
More on IT skills
- Demand for IT staff on the rise
- Businesses must stamp out ‘cheap labour’ apprenticeships
- BCS candidate crowned ITIL student of the year 2013
- Facebook invests £100,000 in open source education
- Business and schools need to collaborate on computing curriculum
- Schools win grants to test if iPads and texting improve results
“Anne-Marie deserves recognition and I am delighted to name her the UK’s 135th Point of Light.”
Imafidon said: “It's always been a priority for me to maintain my full-time role and volunteer alongside it. I'm a woman in the industry encouraging more girls to join me. I'm glad the Prime Minister has recognised this model works and is making an impact.”
Having passed two GCSEs in maths and ICT at the age of ten, Imafidon became the youngest student to pass A-Level computing at just 11. She also became one of the youngest people to obtain a masters degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Oxford at the age of 20.
Research from MathWorks recently revealed that the skills gap in STEM subjects is failing to shrink.
Surveying academics, the report found that 45% believe it will take more than 20 years to bridge the skills gap. Of those surveyed, 36% said they felt less confident in the UK’s ability in bridging the STEM skills gap this year when compared to last. Only 19% said they feel more confident in the UK this year compared to 2013.