New group hopes to support women targeting careers in science

New group hopes to support women targeting careers in science

A new body to promote and support women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects has been set up by students at the University of Aberdeen.

The affinity group for the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineering (IEEE) Women In Engineering - the largest international professional organization dedicated to promoting women engineers and scientists – has been officially approved by the body.

Group Chair for the University’s WIE Faye Campbell, a MEng student studying Electrical & Electronic Engineering, said: “A lot of women are in the minority in the STEM subjects. We wanted something to bring them together to improve networking, improve links with industry and provide a body that we could use to invite speakers to come and give talks and advice.

“Perhaps some are put off with being a woman in a male-dominated industry. We hope this group will help inspire more female students at the University to pursue a career in the STEM subjects and in doing that, offer a support structure that can improve their job prospects.”

The group will hold its first major meeting in the Mathematics Seminar Room in Fraser Noble on Thursday, March 20 between 1pm and 3pm. Speakers will include Dr Ana Ivanovic, a senior lecturer from the School of Engineering, and Kirsten Mauchline, a wireline field engineer who works for Baker Hughes. All are welcome to attend.

Group advisor Dr Judith Masthoff from the University’s School of Natural & Computing Science, said: “There are a reasonable number of women studying STEM subjects at Undergraduate level, but what we see is the higher and higher you go – both in academia and industry – there is a decrease in the percentage of women you find. You lose a lot of talented women along the way. Hopefully this new group will help in some way to redress that. 

Faye added: “This is just the first meeting. In the future we hope to hold mentoring sessions by bringing in female role models who are working in these industries. We also hope to hold CV writing sessions, so there will be real tangible benefits for female students to get involved.”

“We also hope to build on the University’s existing ambassadorial schemes with schools, so we can encourage girls into science from a young age.”

Anyone interested in attending the event can sign up through the WIE Aberdeen Facebook page, or join the mailing list by sending an email containing ‘subscribe IEEEwie-students’ to majordomo@abdn.ac.uk.

For more information visit the WIE Website.

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