Women in STEM Careers Day for Girls
Friday, 16 January 2015
Bolton School hosted a ‘Women in STEM’ Careers Day for girls. The event was organised by Bolton School’s Ogden Trust Teaching Fellow, Dr Louise Wheatland, and invited girls from Ogden Trust schools in the local area as well as Girls’ Division pupils to attend.
The Careers Day featured six guests: all women whose careers relate to ‘STEM’ – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. However, many of their careers in fact involve the meeting of different sciences or disciplines, and the idea was for the girls to meet someone whose career is something they hadn’t come across or thought of before.
There truly was a wide variety of careers in evidence. Bethan Dale, Kathleen Harrison and Eraina Smith are all civil engineers in some form, but each one works on something very different and specific: Bethan is an engineer working for Network Rail on the electrification of trains; Kathleen has worked on a wide variety of construction projects; and Eraina is currently working on the bus corridor. Kirsty Wells works for the NHS in biomedical sciences, specifically working with gene therapy. Catriona McCallion and Kate Williams are both working towards PhDs at Manchester University, but on very different subjects. Catriona is working on a new way to deliver drugs to cancer patients, using graphene as a shell; while Kate is studying brain chemistry to research whether ‘mindfulness’ has a real effect.
The girls were split into small groups and given time to sit with each of the guests in an informal setting. They were encouraged to ask questions, either ones they had prepared earlier or anything that sprung to mind in the course of the conversation. This was a great opportunity for the girls to chat with women who are working in careers related to STEM subjects and get a feel for what it is really like to move into these fields. The informal atmosphere and the friendly attitude of both girls and guests ensured that the conversation flowed throughout.
Each of the women were a huge inspiration to the girls who attended the careers day, and have certainly given them plenty to think about for their future.