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Wales Women in STEM: Inaugural Symposium

Helen Crawford & Eleanor Hubble
23 September 2019

Wales Women in STEM: Inaugural Symposium

On 16th September 2019 the METaL team attended ‘Wales Women in STEM: Inaugural Symposium’ held at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff.

Organised by Dr Amber Jenkins and Dr Louise Bright, the event celebrated the launch of the Wales Women in STEM network, and looked to the future for women studying and working in the STEM fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Amber and Louise are responsible not only for the event and website, but also the collaborative online network, which they have created working with a company called Simply Do Ideas. The network is designed to be an online social space where women can share best practice, offer mentorship and guidance, or meet others working within STEM.

There were a good range of speakers at the event, including Jane Hutt, Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, who formally opened the symposium.

A brilliant keynote address titled ‘Mother Nature Needs her Daughters’ was given by Dr Tara Shine, an environmental scientist with over 20 years’ experience working as an adviser to governments and world leaders.  Tara shared her experiences of ‘Homeward Bound’ the global leadership programme for female scientists, including details of her recent adventure in Antarctica.

Questions from the audience highlighted the importance of igniting a passion for STEM subjects in girls from a young age, in order to encourage them to study further or pursue a career in these areas. Also discussed were some of the barriers and challenges faced by women working in STEM.

Following on from the talks there were a number of workshops which sparked further discussion:

•       What can be done in the future?
•       How can we support women returning to STEM?
•       How can we engage girls in STEM from a young age?
•       How can men act as allies for women in the workplace

The symposium brought together those who can implement change within the sector, and those who work to create a positive environment in which women and girls are celebrated and supported throughout their careers.

For more information on the event, and the network go to the website.