On Saturday 7 November 2015, award-winning social enterprise Stemettes hosted simultaneous panel events in London and Dublin to inspire the next generation of women in STEM.

Attended by over 100 girls, the event – sponsored and hosted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch – gave girls unique access to women who have built successful STEM careers. Held as part of the ongoing Ada Lovelace Day celebrations, the “Meet the Stemettes” event is now in its third year. This is, however, the first time the event has been run across multiple cities.

Panelists at the London and Dublin events came from an array of STEM fields, and included:
– Professor Christine Loscher: Professor Loscher leads the Immunomodulation Research Group at Dublin City University and holds several leadership roles, including Director of the Health Technologies Research.
– Dr Clare Eluka: Founder and formulator of multi-award winning Premae Skincare, the world’s first certified free-from beauty company. Dr Eluka runs a private practice in London and teaches the science of natural beauty in London and Kampala.
– Elle Loughran: A 6th Year student, Elle was recently appointed to the Youth Panel of the British Science Association and named a global youth leader in nanotech by the Emerging Technologies Hub. She participated in this summer’s Stemettes Outbox Incubator and blogs at frizzyroselle.eu.

Saturday’s events enabled girls to:
– Hear first-hand how each of the experienced panelists had built a successful STEM career;
– Take part in a telepresence challenge where teams from London and Dublin worked together virtually to crack a series of STEM-related questions; and
– Network with women in industry, and other girls passionate about STEM.

Stemettes co-founder Jacquelyn Guderley said of the event, “This weekend’s multi-city Meet the Stemettes events were hugely important in allowing girls to feel a part of a global community of girls in STEM. Meeting female STEM role models, taking part in mini networking sessions and having the opportunity to ask panellists anything they liked – while in the impressive setting of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s offices – will be an experience that gives them confidence as they build their own STEM careers.”

Face-to-face interactions between girls and female STEM role models are critical to affecting patterns of educational choice and turning the tide of the underrepresentation of women in STEM, according to a 2012 Kings College London ASPIRES report. Central to Stemettes’ work is providing girls with regular, free events at which they can do just that.

In addition to panel events such as those in London and Dublin, Stemettes runs hackathons, a mentoring scheme and Outbox Incubator, which creates young female STEM entrepreneurs (girls aged 11-22). In January, Stemettes will be launching its next initiative, OtotheB – a global online platform for girls interested in STEM and entrepreneurship.

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