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STEM – Science Technology Engineering Mathematics

Crosby’s Soroptimists are active in promoting STEM locally.

STEM: a global initiative to increase the number of young people (particularly young women) choosing a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

There is an enormous gender gap in STEM, with far too few women in the scientific professions. This is no secret. Many girls still think science and engineering to be ‘man things’ – and not for them.

Crosby’s Soroptimists held their first STEM conference in 2016 for girls aged 13-16. Its main aim was to encourage girls to consider the sciences for GCSE, A-Level and beyond.

Feedback from the first conference prompted SI Crosby to organise a further three successful annual conferences. Take-up approached 100 local students in year four. Sadly the Covid-19 pandemic temporarily stalled the project.

At the conferences the students met young women scientists and engineers. Each spoke about their work and how they had made career choices. The events enabled the girls to find out more about a variety of STEM-based careers including aerospace, construction, architecture, vehicle engineering, biomedical sciences and optometry.

The aim of the conferences was to broaden educational horizons. The girls might then be able to consider a variety of STEM career options according to their interests and aptitudes.

Soroptimist International (SI) is “… committed to women’s education and empowerment. SI recognises that access to education for girls and women at all ages is a fundamental human right and is vital for development, economic growth, and poverty reduction”.

Access to STEM information and choices is an ongoing global concern. The United Nations, for example, through UN Women promotes its annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science.