This year marks a massive milestone in the continuing effort to get more women into STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).

Government data shows that there are now more than one million women working in core STEM occupations – a goal that Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) campaign has been championing for the past five years.

Of course, reaching this milestone is cause for a celebration, and WISE is doing just that through its #1ofTheMillion Day on June 10. Through social media, WISE is encouraging woman, and those who want to support a greater gender balance in STEM, to get involved by using the hashtag.

Here at Christ Church we are also celebrating. Our rapidly growing selection of STEM courses and brand new, state-of-the-art facilities to support them are providing new opportunities for students keen to break into this vitally important area of study and work. What’s more, we are extremely lucky to have been able to attract a large number of female students to study STEM with us. Better still, our faculty has many outstanding female academics leading that study.

The importance of campaigns like the WISE #1ofTheMillion Day celebration is well understood and supported among our own women in science and engineering. Here are just a few things they have to say.

“Women represent 50% of the population and we use the products created by scientists and engineers – therefore we should have a vested interest in their development.”  Dr Rihana Ishaq, Director of Engineering

“Whatever the barrier, whoever says “No”; there is always another solution, way round and over, though it takes hard work and perseverance. I strive to break down these barriers so the next generation of women in STEM are truly considered equal.” Dr Anne Nortcliffe, Head of School of Engineering, Technology and Design

“Lots of systems are designed with men in mind, or without taking account that women are physically different from men and often interact with technology in different ways. Women, as users of technology, should be involved in developing the technology.” Tina Eager, Senior Lecturer in Computing

We will be posting here on the blog and over on our social channels over the coming few weeks to celebrate the #1ofTheMillion Day as part of the WISE Campaign, culminating on International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) on June 23.

You can find out more about the WISE campaign here: https://www.wisecampaign.org.uk/

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