If you’re looking for a career that will constantly challenge you to learn new things and commit to solving problems, as well as allowing you to express your creativity whilst being immersed in the fast-paced digital world, then becoming a web developer is something you might want to consider.
Studies show that women leave academic research in larger numbers than men, and are poorly represented at higher academic levels. Initiatives like Athena SWAN has been set up to address the problem, but if you're a female researcher there are other sources of support out there for you too. One example is STEM Women.
The Institute of Physics has recently published a report with the Royal Astronomical Society, Gazing at the Future. Kate Murray, Careers Consultant to the Graduate School, King’s College London attended the launch and is sharing what she learnt with us on Reach:
The report looks at the experiences of male and female physics and astronomy researchers during their PhDs and their expectations of whether or not they will enter academia after the PhD.
The stats in the report make pretty depressing reading: female doctoral students rate the overall experience of their doctorate lower than their male peers; and the proportion of female doctoral students happy with their doctorate is on average 7% lower than for male doctoral students. Only just over 55% of female doctoral students across all years of study agree that they would make good research scientists (70% of male students overall would agree).
Particularly stark was the finding that 48% of female students, in their final year, envisage that they might have a university role in 3-5 years' time, compared with 65% of male students.
The report suggests reasons behind these stats, including the issue of a lack of role models (thus reinforcing unconscious bias amongst recruiters and setting an unconscious bar on ambition on the part of candidates).
It doesn't seem to me, though, that physics and astronomy are particularly alone in these findings. While efforts such as Athena SWAN and the Equality Charter Mark, as well as initiatives by individual universities such as the fantastic photos of female professors in the Strand building, all help to promote academia as a welcoming place for women, the conversations I have with female researchers across all subjects point to structural issues around the competition for grants and working culture that are off-putting. In fairness, they are often off-putting to men looking for work/life balance too.
What to do? Find resilience, set examples, seek good advice, take opportunities. Find a mentor, find a 'supporter' (someone who actively looks for opportunities for you), and don't be pigeon-holed. Think about protecting your self-esteem and promoting your self-confidence. And retain a love for research.
Here's a summary of the news, blog posts and careers information we’ve come across in the last month that we thought may be of interest to you.
- Disabled Students: Your Guide to Navigating and Accessing Higher Education
- Riding the freelance roller coaster Making a living as a creative freelancer with a severe disability.
- Journey of a Transgender Professional: Her Perspective
- Vince Cable and Chuka Umunna act on City ethnicity
- Facing the taboo of race discrimination in higher education
- Why we urgently need Islamic student loans
- Generation Y women have best skills to break glass ceiling
- 5 things you need to know about being a woman in STEM
- Social mobility and the City: will you get a fair chance with graduate recruiters?
Find more news and events on the Reach website.
Today is Ada Lovelace day, an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Lovelace is widely held to have been the first computer programmer with her 1842 notes on Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine becoming one of the critical documents to inspire Alan Turing’s work on the first modern computers in the 1940s.
Here are some of the articles released today celebrating women who work in STEM.
- The female pioneers of the technological age - Telegraph
- Women in computing:the 60s pioneers who lit up the world of coding - Guardian
- 35 Women Under 35 Who Are Changing the Tech Industry - Glamour
- Women's Science Tumblr
- More Ada Lovelace Day 2014 blog posts - Finding Ada
If you've found these stories inspiring here are some of our top resources from Careers Tagged offering professional support to women in science, technology, engineering and maths.
- WISE - promoting female talent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
- BCSWomen - group for female IT professionals from BCS The Chartered Institute for IT
- Women's Engineering Society
- Women in Games Jobs
- Athena SWAN - Recognising commitment to advancing women's careers in STEMM employment in higher education and research.
Portrait of Ada Lovelace by Alfred Edward Chalon in the public domain. Found via wikimedia commons.
Did you know that Only 6% of the engineering workforce in the UK is female, only 5.5% of engineering professionals are female and only 27% of engineering and science technicians are female? This is why the Women's Engineering Society have set up National Women in Engineering Day.
Did you know that The Careers Group runs over a dozen Twitter accounts? Plus there are even more accounts run by The Careers Group's college services.
This won't be news to some as we know it's a way that a lot of you find our blog posts but recently we've changed the names on several of our Twitter accounts.
So in case you're confused here's the information on what feed to follow for your particular careers and job seeking interests.
This is our main Twitter account for students and graduates looking for jobs, careers information and advice on things like CVs and interviews.
This shares jobs as they're added to Job Online
Info about our graduate recruitment fairs, the employers who exhibit and the careers advice shared there
Information and advice on making a career in International Development
Careers information, events and advice to help you break into a career in the creative industries
Legal news, closing dates and vacancies