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A few days ago the WOMENinSTEM@IC committee heard the sad news that Lady Barbara Judge, CBE, passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
As a group, we had the honour of hosting a lunch reception with Lady Barbara last year, where we got the opportunity to learn about her experiences as a female leader in business and shared candid discussions on what it means to be a woman in the corporate workplace in the 21st century. Her career trajectory is as inspiring as it is impressive, and is a testament to her strength and determination.
Lady Barbara was welcoming, poised, eloquent, an excellent storyteller and a master at capturing the room. Despite her highly accomplished status, she treated all attendees of our event as equal and spent time getting to know every one of us and celebrating our individual achievements. We are incredibly honoured and grateful that Lady Barbara took the time out of her busy schedule to meet with us.
It saddens us greatly that during this time of mourning for her family and close ones, many media outlets are using clickbait titles and calling her a “controversial figure”. This is sadly a prime example of the different treatment that women leaders receive compared to their male counterparts and echoes many of the stories that Lady Barbara shared with us.
The WOMENinSTEM@IC community would like to focus on her achievements and the good that she brought to the world, so we would like to end this post with the following statement:
Lady Barbara was a prime example of a female trailblazer and entrepreneur, and lived more and worked harder in a lifetime than most. We believe she was exemplary at empowering women, and everyone who was lucky enough to attend our joint event left with advice and inspiration to last a lifetime. We hope that her memory will live on through our achievements as future women leaders.
On past 11th of February, we team-up with MatSoc and Syracuse University London for a celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2020!
First and foremost: a big thank you to all who were able to join us in this fantastic event, as well as to our organising partners!
In case you missed it, here’s a quick summary:
The event started with a fantastic presentation by members of the “Electryfying Women Project”, Dr. Elizabeth Bruton (Science Museum – Curator for Technology and Engineering) and Dr. Emily Rees (Electryfying Women and University of Leeds). Their presentation focused on the deep and historical contributions of british women to STEM from as early as the 1800s! From women who were lucky enough to have visionary families who allowed them to pursue studies and a career in a time where women were only to be seen at home, to women who quietly (yet strongly!) contributed through the work of their husbands – the “true” engineer at the eyes of society. The “Electrifying Women Project” is an on-going research project that aims to find such women as well as find more about, bring to light and credit the long history of women in engineering.
This was then followed by a panel discussion. We had some incredible and inspiring panellists joining us (Thank You!) who discussed how the number of girls and women in STEM paths has changed with the years; how society and our background play a role in the opportunities one has; the challenges and stigma a lot of girls still face for wanting to pursue a STEM career; the challenges of being a women in a male-dominated field. The highlight of our panel discussion perhaps relates to our panellists experience on what it means to be a women in STEM and how can society support, inspire, mentor and lead younger generations to a STEM discipline.
As a side note – prior to our event, members of our committee were able to attend the talks organised by Syracuse University London. We had the pleasure to co-organise a gathering of current students and alumni from the university, to learn more about the history of Syracuse Womxn in STEM.
Syracuse University London hosted four panellists – 2 current students and 2 alumni – of different cultures as well as STEM fields. On a question-led discussion, the panellists were able to describe their experience within the university as well as in society from a women in STEM point-of-view. Panellists described who and what has inspired them to pursue a career in STEM, what challenges have they faced, how have they overcome such challenges. From windshields to chocolate cookies, it was an incredibly inspiring discussion that ended on a lighter note when asked which was their favourite every-day-object that had been invented by a women.
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In celebration of International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2020, we have partnered up with MatSoc (the Materials society) to host a panel event titled ‘ElectrifyingWomen: The past and present of women in STEM’.
The event will take the form of a talk given by members of the organisation ‘ElectrifyingWomen’ (from University of Leeds and Science Museum), on the extensive history of the contributions of women to STEM disciplines, that will lead into an informal panel discussion involving guests from a range of different STEM backgrounds who are leaders in their respective fields. Our panellists include:
- Dr Jess Wade (Imperial College department of Physics – PDRA and diversity in STEM advocate)
- Dr Elizabeth Bruton (Science Museum – Curator of Technology and Engineering)
- Dr Patricia Forcén (Zotefoams plc – Senior Technologist)
- Katharine Grant (Occupational Therapist for NHS Scotland)
- Dr Emily Rees (Electrifying Women and University of Leeds)
We are very excited to welcoming you all this Tuesday (11/02/2020) from 18:30 in City and Guilds Building LT 664, for an immersive evening on the history of women in STEM followed by networking over drinks, canapés and pastries!.