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Meet the Stemettes events aim to entice girls into Stem

Volunteer organisation Stemettes holds events in London and Dublin to encourage young women to take up Stem careers

Stemettes ran a multi-location campaign in November to encourage young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem).

The volunteer group, which was founded by Anne-Marie Imafidon, ran panels in London and Dublin that showcased speakers from different Stem fields and celebrated Ada Lovelace Day – a day which champions women in the Stem space.

“The multi-city Meet the Stemettes events were hugely important in allowing girls to feel part of a global community of girls in Stem,” said Stemettes co-founder Jacquelyn Guderley.

“Meeting female Stem role models, taking part in mini networking sessions and having the opportunity to ask panellists anything they like will be an experience that gives them confidence as they build their own Stem careers.”

The events, which were sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and attended by more than 100 girls, featured speakers such as founder of allergen-from beauty company Premae Skincare, Clare Eluka; Elle Loughran, who was recently appointed to the youth panel of the British Science Association; and Christine Loscher, director of health technologies research at Dublin City University.

The event was designed to enable girls to hear the panellists’ anecdotes about their careers, take part in challenges and network with other women and girls in the Stem industry, as well as introduce them to a range of people working in different Stem roles to emphasise the diversity of available jobs.

A recent Wise report found that only 14.4% of the people working in Stem are female, and an IET skills survey found that women account for only 9% of the engineering workforce.

Once they reach a certain age, girls often lose interest in technical subjects due to unconscious bias, and recent research found 60% of 12-year-old girls believe Stem subjects are hard to learn.

Stemettes is attempting to tackle these figures by boosting the exposure young women have to Stem role models, as many believe the reason girls are choosing not to go into Stem is because they perceive the people working in the industry to only be “geeky men”.

Earlier in 2015, Stemettes launched its Outbox incubator programme, during which 45 girls were mentored on how to launch their own Stem businesses. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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