Choosing to Challenge: Gender Equality in STEM | GiST on International Women’s Day

adminEvent, News, News and Events

Guest blog written by Laura Roberts from our University of South Wales hub. Laura heads up our GiST events, which aim to encourage 11-16 year old girls to consider STEM careers, and introduce them to roles that are available in the industry. The events welcome Women in STEM to chat about their jobs and answer any questions the girls have on the subject...

For International Women’s Day 2021, I had the perfect opportunity to run a GiST seminar with a bit more oomph! I was keen to get some speakers who would really inspire our audience and who I knew were 110% committed to the International Women’s Day 2021 theme of #ChoosetoChallenge.

Nic Ponsford has a long career in education and technology. She is an award winning educator, author and the co-founder and CEO of the Global Equality Collective, along with Cat Wildman (a previous guest on the GiST virtual seminars). I knew from her reputation and recommendations that she would suit the bill, and she agreed enthusiastically to take part. Abigail Tattersfeild I had met a few years ago when we were both taking part in a STEM Ambassador training session, we got chatting and in a short space of time I found out that Abi was a Spectroscopy in a Suitcase ambassador to the RSC, an Army Cadet, a USW student ambassador and a keen forensic biologist. Looking for our second guest, and asking the USW marketing team for ideas, Abi’s name came up, and as soon as I heard it I knew she would be perfect. She has now added USW Chemistry lecturer, NHS Covid tester and Masters student to her list of achievements.

During the seminar, we discussed career choices, role models, support networks and the challenges of working in the everchanging field of Science and Technology. Questions from our audience probed Nic and Abi on everything from starting a business to what you can do with a forensic science degree. 

Nic made an introductory video for the session which can be seen here.

GiST Seminars continue throughout the year, the next being on Monday 19th April, 2-3pm with Sarah-Jane Potts. Sarah-Jane is an engineer based at Swansea University.