A postgraduate student from the University of Manchester is hoping to inspire the next generation of female scientists and engineers with a campaign aimed at illustrating ‘real’ women in the industry.
The Women of Science campaign which launches today will showcase weekly stories of 40 ‘relatable’ female scientists from across Europe; providing an insight into their careers and how they achieved it, along with photographs of them in and out of the work place. The aim is to break down stereotypes and perceptions that roles in science and engineering are unattainable and mainly reserved for men.
Rhys Archer, a PhD researcher in Materials Science and Widening Participation Fellow who is behind the crusade, is using the opportunity to educate people about the issues around diversity in science and create a resource not only for young people but also for women who are already working in the sciences and would like to find out more about their industry peers.
After winning the online public engagement competition, ‘I'm an Engineer Get Me Out of Here’ in 2015, Rhys is using her prize money to fund the marketing campaign that includes the production of a website, social media channels and leaflets which will be given to children in schools across Manchester.
I wanted to present women in STEM as real people who can actually be very relatable.
Rhys said: “I recognised a lack of female scientists and engineers in the media that can act as role models and I didn't feel this fairly represented the amount of women doing fantastic work in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) in both research and industry.
“The premise of the project is based on the book called Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton which is made up of photos of everyday people in the city, along with short quotes and anecdotes about their lives.
“Following this theme, I wanted to present women in STEM as real people who can actually be very relatable. Science probably isn’t the be all and end all of their existence. They are not geniuses, they are regular people who do science and happen to be female.”
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