COVID-19: Pandemic Experts Hope To Inspire A New Generation Of Young Women UK News
The women responsible for some of the most exciting breakthroughs in the pandemic are hoping to attract more women to the fields of science, engineering and technology.
Many of those who are behind the vaccine advances during the pandemic were female.
Among them, Katherine Jansen is one of the leading researchers of Pfizer, immunologist Kizzmekia Corbett, who co-developed the Moderna Jab, and Professor Sarah Gilbert, who created the Moderna Jab Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine.
Together with their colleagues, they pave the way for younger women who hope for successful careers in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math) and in fields that are normally male-dominated.
One such figurehead was Professor Dame Angela McLean, Scientific Advisor at the Department of Defense. She is the first woman in the role and has appeared in number 10’s Downing Street press conferences many times.
“I think it would be a great side benefit of this difficult year if more women were to consider taking STEM subjects for their university education because they saw there were all kinds of interesting jobs for scientists,” said Prof. Dame McLean .
“One of my colleagues said to me that her four-year-old daughter said that and didn’t just want to be a fairy, which of course you don’t want to put aside, but she also wanted to be a scientist.
“And that got my heart singing because it’s a great job. It’s a great job for a woman and more women should be trained to be scientists.”
The contribution of these women has not gone unnoticed by the students at the Technical College at London Design & Engineering University.
Employees who teach engineering, architecture, science, and design technology take pride in creating the innovators of the future.
Sky News spoke to some of those aspiring to great heights in the engineering industry.
“I think the women on the front lines, the women who distribute the vaccines to people, and the women who have been an important part of the research are definitely an inspiring thing,” said Nina, a biology, psychology and digital media student .
She says they are role models.
“I think in any industry and in any goal you want to pursue, it’s very important to see people like you, people who share your similar traits,” she added.
“It’s definitely something that will make many, many young girls look at them and say, ‘Oh, I could do this, this is someone who looks like me, this is someone I could be in the future. ‘
“Young girls today have many, many more role models than I did when I was growing up.”
13th grade student Melissa, who is pursuing a career in artificial intelligence, says it is inspiring to see women at the forefront of change.
“The fact that these women have risen to the challenge of finding these solutions despite the bias and adversity, I believe will in itself live on beyond the pandemic,” she said.
Professor Gilbert’s groundbreaking work was recognized this week.
She was awarded the Albert Medal – an honor reserved for people who have made a positive contribution to society – for developing the Oxford Jab. The previous winners’ company says it all, with Stephen Hawking and Marie Curie among the previous winners.
When Professor Gilbert spoke to Sky News about the nod, he urged women not only to be encouraged to climb the science and technology ladders, but to climb them all the way to the top.
Prof. Gilbert also recognized the discrepancies between men and women in STEM areas.
She said, “What I’ve seen is that over the course of our careers, it’s often women who drop out and don’t make it all the way to the top, and I think that’s still true today – we don’t see that.” as many women executives in STEM areas in companies and universities as we should.
“What I think could happen is that women are sometimes a little reluctant to step forward and take leadership roles. If this is the case, we need to give them more confidence in their ability to do so.”
“And that applies to things like mentoring and training and helping them understand how to advance in their careers.”
This snapshot of pioneers at the frontline of science confirms that the world is in good hands.