NXplorers marked International Women’s Day with an inspirational STEM webinar

How do we get more women into valuable and rewarding STEM careers? That was the focus of our latest NXplorers Future Talks webinar to mark International Women’s Day on 8th March. Industries relying on STEM skills have been struggling to bridge the gender gap.

According to UNICEF, only 18 per cent of girls are studying STEM at university compared to 35 per cent of boys. And UNESCO data points to just 30 per cent of science researchers globally identifying as women. This lack of gender diversity in STEM doesn’t only affect life outcomes for women but means that the world is missing out on unique skills and ideas.

Panellists Esther Barthel, Dami Ladeinde and Anisha Praveen shared their experiences in the world of STEM and how to encourage more women to follow suit. We also learned what we can to do ensure women continue to make their mark in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths.

The three key takeaways were:

  • Education can make it or break it: exposure to STEM subjects and real-world examples from an early age can spark a lifelong interest; creative and engaging activities both outside and inside the classroom, like competitions and challenges, help girls develop skills and confidence.
  • Companies need to create inclusive cultures where everyone is comfortable being themselves, don’t feel they need to change to fit in, and know that their contributions are valued.
  • Men and women can all contribute by ensuring others are part of the conversation, challenging their own biases, and giving women opportunities to learn and develop through simple steps such as sharing knowledge and mentoring.

The lively discussion was chaired by NXplorers STEM Lead and ally, Tariq Hussain. The online event inspired attendees to continue increasing access to STEM skills and opportunities for everyone, especially those who have historically been left out.

Watch the recording here.

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