Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)
Primary Collaborators :
Phaedra Stancer (Programme Leader Media Arts, PUMA director)
Video coordinator and producer with PUMA production house
Professor Camille Parmesan (NMA Chair in Public Understanding of Marine Science & Human Health; Professor at Plymouth University and the University of Texas)
Science advisor, liaison with senior staff and participant
Dr Stacey DeAmicis (Lecturer in Marine Ecology and Learning Development Advisor)
Science advisor and Co-coordinator
While women have made many gains in STEM subject representation and impact in recent decades, there remains a significant gender imbalance and a dearth of women at the most senior levels.
Through a series of videos, this project aims to connect young women that are still forming their professional goals with female role models in STEM subjects at Plymouth University. The project aims to give young women greater confidence in pursuing careers and a better understanding of available options and pathways to achieving success.
The low numbers of women taking up and succeeding in STEM careers is very much a current issue and an important problem that needs to be addressed.
In January 2014 the Government Committee for Science and Technology published its sixth report.
The following quote, identifying the importance of female role models, is from section three Gender perceptions in STEM careers
Role models are important for inspiring males and females to study STEM subjects and pursue STEM careers. The lack of senior or high-profile women scientists reduces the availability of female role models, which particularly affects girls and women.
In June 2012 European commissioner for Research and Innovation Mrs Maire Geoghegan-Quinn launched a Women in Science campaign. As part of that campaign a promotional video was produced and released which aimed to encourage girls to take up careers in science. Science: It's a Girl Thing ! was deemed so inappropriate that the commission had to withdraw it.
There is an obvious need for good quality video representation in this area. By working collaboratively across arts and science, this project hopes to help in some small way to redress the gender balance.
6 case studies have been completed and a promotional video is in early production. A BIS funding application has been submitted (see Bids section) which will involve case studies from regional industry partners including Babcock, and there will be a social media campaign, website, evaluation and papers.