Tuesday 8th March is this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD). The theme this year uses the hashtag #BreakTheBias. There are many biases in our current society which make it more difficult for women to succeed. Break the bias encourages the movement of gender equality and inclusive communities, workplaces, schools and universities.  

At BioGrad Training and Exams, we want to use this day to promote the movement of more women in STEM. It is widely understood that the science industry is overly saturated with men and that there is a lack of young girls pursuing careers in science.  

I spoke to our Head of Education Zara Prowse to see her thoughts on the current situation of women in STEM. Zara first became involved in the science industry because she was a gymnast. She hated science during school but since doing gymnastics, she became fascinated by the way the body moved and how it worked and so went on to study Human Biology at college. When she decided to study for a degree at 35, she realised the only the degree that interested her was science!  

Zara thinks that there is without a doubt a lack of women in the STEM industry, especially in areas such as Formula 1 racing, because when you watch it on the TV there are rarely any women around. She explained that this is often the case in Engineering/Physics based jobs, questioning why there are not many women that want to be in the industry, and wonders “maybe they’re put off because it is a male dominated industry”. This is also evident when looking at our physics course bookings which are almost all males!   

I asked Zara if she has ever felt as though she had been overshadowed by a male co-worker during her career in the science industry, and while she couldn’t think of a time where this had happened, she recalled times she had felt this way while she worked as a duty manager in the leisure industry, which she noted is also a very male saturated industry.  

Zara does feel that there has been a positive change when it comes to women and jobs in STEM, especially over the last 2 years. She pointed out that she notices a lot more female scientists on her LinkedIn page now. Despite this, there is still more that needs to be done to encourage women and girls in STEM industries.  

When I asked Zara how she thought our company helps to encourage more women in STEM, she acknowledged how our CEO, Dr Natalie Kenny, has become very involved in this movement via social media and various events she has attended/spoken at. This is also very much reflected in her management team which is made up of many empowering women (including Zara). Finally, I asked Zara what advice she would give to a young girl considering a career in the science industry. She stressed the importance of finding something within science that particularly interests you regardless of whether it is a male dominated discipline! By encouraging more girls into STEM careers, we will hopefully help to #BreakTheBias.  


Freya Buckley  

Marketing Executive  


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