Sunday, 25 October 2015

Stemettes - meet them

On Saturday, 7 November, Stemettes – an award-winning social enterprise inspiring the next generation of females to enter the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) sector – will be running a ‘Meet the Stemettes’ panel event.

Sponsored and hosted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch at its London and Dublin offices, there will be a panel of women and one 'mystery' man from the industry in the UK and Ireland who will share tips, advice and opportunities with girls in the two locations. This event will provide a unique opportunity for the girls to meet and network with women already working in STEM professions.

Lee Nicholls, EMEA Technology executive for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said:

“We are delighted to be supporting Stemettes for the third year running and excited to be hosting these events in two countries. As part of our focus on addressing youth employment, initiatives like this are a valuable opportunity to encourage more girls to consider a career in STEM.

“Stemettes is a catalyst for more women to consider a career in STEM. Our goal is that through collaborative efforts like this, we can challenge perceptions of what it is like to work in STEM and inspire more female students to consider a career in the sector.”

The event is part of the Ada Lovelace Day celebrations happening across the UK and Ireland and follows similar events previously run by Stemettes and Bank of America Merrill Lynch around the UK. The previous event in London had more than 100 people in attendance who heard from women ranging from those who led the world's first synthetic windpipe transplant, to successful female tech CEOs, and chemical engineers working on water sanitation.

The November 2015 panel will include women who run engineering teams, biochemists, technologists and mathematicians who will share their journeys, answer questions from the audience and participate in the 'Free, Food, Fun' philosophy of the Stemettes. Anyone interested in attending can sign up viawww.stemettes.org.

The Stemettes’ slogan of 'Girls do STEM, too' addresses the challenge of encouraging girls into STEM careers. Following a drop in the number of women in the UK's STEM workforce by four to 13 percent in 2012, the representation of women in this area is starting to show faint signs of improvement with the figure now rising to 14 percent; however, with two-thirds of women graduating from STEM subjects deciding to not take up STEM roles, there is still much work to do. In the Republic of Ireland, whilst slightly better, there is still improvement to be made to their 25 percent share of the STEM workforce.

Head Stemette Anne-Marie Imafidon believes that inspiring a new generation of women into entering STEM careers starts with showcasing the excellent women already in the sector via a series of panel events, hackathons and exhibitions."I've loved technology since I was four – typing up the story of Red Riding Hood, saving it and then coming back to it changed my life. This was my creation and my creativity being enabled by a computer." Imafidon went on to become the youngest girl to pass A-level Computing at the age of 11.