Welsh blogger breaks glass ceiling for women in science

Wednesday May 11th, 2016

Women make up just 12% of UK scientists, and a Welsh blogger is helping to bring down barriers which hold women back in the industry, with her work now spreading across Europe.

Alice Gray, a science blogger from South Wales, is breaking the glass ceiling for women in STEM by raising awareness of the issues that cause women to drop out of science during their education and career.

Her work began in Wales during her final year at Cardiff University and continued while assisting the National Assembly for Wales during their STEM inquiry. Now, her work is moving across the channel.

In July, the 24-year-old will fly to the European Space Agency, to take part in the lunchtime lectures at the Parisian headquarters, raising awareness of the issues that face women in the industry.

Alice said: “I am incredibly pleased to be invited to give a talk to the European Space Agency about women in science. So far my work has been concentrated in Wales, and this will be my first international talk.

“Women are incredibly underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and maths, and are significantly more likely to be employed below their skillset.

“Not only are women being stopped from reaching their full potential, but studies have shown that lack of diversity can really affect the quality of scientific research.”

Last year the Welsh bloggers’ work was recognised as part of the BBC’s 100 Women project, naming her on the list of inspirational women for 2015 for her work in battling gender inequality in science.

Alice has been raising awareness for the issues that face women in STEM since graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in neuroscience, and she became aware of the barriers she would face in the industry.

On average, women make up less than 15% of scientists and in some parts of the in the industry, they make up a very small proportion of employees. Only 6% of mechanical engineers are women.

Alice created mind-ful.blogspot.co.uk to help encourage discussion about the factors which cause the loss of women in STEM.

Alice said: “The underrepresentation of women in these industries is not down to a lack of interest or capability to work in science or maths, it is the result of a slow loss of women from these industries throughout their education and career.

“By starting my blog and working with organisations like the National Assembly for Wales or the European Space Agency, I hope that I can play a part in breaking the glass ceilings that lead to the loss of women in science.”