It’s the New Year – a time for both change and reflection. We wanted to take the chance to reinforce one our most important messages here at Beauty Geek HQ.¬†Girls, we have a growing problem – boys are taking over the world of STEM! Did you know that STEM stands for Science, Technology, ¬†Engineering and Maths and at current only 13% of jobs in these fields are occupied by women? Here at Beauty by the Geeks we’re all for promoting women in STEM!

Although science GCSEs are taken by roughly the same amount of girls as boys these days, the number of girls continuing to A level and further education in these subjects (particularly physics) has left a woman-shaped hole in society for us to fill – jobs to be taken, discoveries to be made and even jobs to be created by women setting up their own businesses.

Throughout the years, women have played crucial roles in these fields with perhaps the most highly-recognised name being Marie Curie, famed for her groundbreaking work with radioactivity in the treatment of neoplasms. With too many fabulous women in STEM to cover, this article takes a brief look at the achievements of some of The Geeks’ biggest idols, who have given so much to society that we all have a lot to thank them for!

From medicine to cosmetics, science surrounds us – and one woman who knows the importance of scientific research is Professor Christine Harrison of Childhood Cancer Cytogenetics. The Geeks were lucky enough to have a chat with Prof Harrison, whose team’s achievements have included the discovery of a specific chromosomal abnormality within a cancerous subtype. Since this discovery, more efficient treatments have been developed, decreasing the chance of disease recurrence in affected children from around 90% to 10%! Without teams like this working away in the lab, such successful treatments simply couldn’t be developed – and this team was headed by a woman. If Prof Harrison hadn’t decided to pursue a career in science then the outcome of such diagnoses could be significantly different today.

Stuck for the answer?!

Technology has it covered – just head to a search engine! And one of the most powerful women helping you to find those answers has been Marissa Mayer, who became president and Chief Executive Officer of ‘Yahoo!’ in 2012. Before landing this position Marissa graduated from Stanford University with honours degrees in both symbolic systems and computer science, going in to spend 13 years working as the first female engineer for Google. Here her ideas were key for developing that well-known white search page that we all turn to for answers and we’re sure her future work with ‘Yahoo!’ will be just as impressive.

Now let’s not forget that some of the most famous female figures in history needn’t be real women – take for example Barbara Millicent Roberts. Never heard of her? If I referred to her as ‘Barbie’ then I suspect fond childhood memories may come flooding back! Whilst roles for women in STEM have become more popular over the past few years, Barbie found herself a new job – as a computer engineer! Barbie has held a special place in the hearts of young girls for decades now – and with her new makeover inspiring young girls to follow in her footsteps now hopefully STEM can find a place in their hearts and minds too.

One thing is for sure ladies – women need STEM and STEM needs women! Whether it’s the cosmetic or the computing industry, jobs need to be carried out by the most competent candidates, and in many cases, (statistically, we’re going to suggest around 50% of cases in fact!), that individual should be female! 13% of these jobs being carried out by women simply isn’t enough in today’s society!

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Women in Science: Jane Goodall

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Women in Science: Professor Christine Harrison