Academics and experts look to address STEM gender gap
3 June 2016
Last week, the School of Engineering played host to an all staff/student lecture entitled ‘Women in Engineering’, an event which saw addresses by two of the institution’s eminent female academics.
The lecture formed part of our ongoing commitment to the principles embodied by the Athena SWAN Charter, an Equality Challenge Unit initiative that looks to encourage female representation in higher education.
The first of two main speakers was Professor Carol Featherston, Director of Research, who told of her journey from an early education in north Yorkshire to working in industry and the transition to academia, as well as giving great insight into her ground breaking work on aircraft structures and acoustic damage detection.
She was succeeded at the lectern by Dr Cathy Holt, Professor of Biomechanics & Orthopaedic Engineering, who obtained three engineering qualifications at Cardiff University and, having been persuaded to give up an alternative career in librarianship, went on to become a globally recognised researcher in the field of Tribology and the human body.
The thirty minute talks were followed by a short address by the Director of the School, Professor Sam Evans, who noted encouraging progress in the proportion of female undergraduate and postgraduate students but spoke of the pressing need to pursue further steps in order to move closer to student and academic equality.
His words echoed the conclusions of the preceding session, ‘Talented Women for a Successful Wales’, in which Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Karen Holford FREng and Dr Sophie Buchaillard were joined by a panel of experts to discuss the recommendations of a new Welsh Government report on women in STEM-based careers.