Those folks in Cambridge love STEM it seems. This became apparent once we had completely filled the lecture theatre at Microsoft Research, Cambridge and we even had some girls sitting on the stairs of the 130 capacity room. Being much bigger than our very intimate panel with 20 girls the weekend before in London, we were excited for a whole different kind of event.
Amazing women graced us with their presence as always. From women who wrote about underwater life, to a woman who works on hip replacements, to a mechanical engineer and much more in between. But they all had one thing in common – they all love their jobs and being women in STEM.
After intros from the panellists, it was over to our wonderful Stemettes to ask them questions. We must have had about 100 questions, too many to even ask! The answers we got from our 7 women and one mystery man (youtube James Grimes for some funny videos) were as weird, wonderful and interesting as the array of questions they were asked. What did you have for breakfast (this is our favourite question at the Stemettes, so we’re glad it got asked)? What is the best thing about working in STEM? What A Levels should I take if I want to study Veterinary Science at university? And two of the best questions of the day: Why is Mercury shrinking (answer still pending, do get in touch if you know? And, what makes engineering a science? We learnt that Engineering is the practical application of Science. Pretty cool.
The networking session was a frenzy! So many girls all champing at the bit to talk to one of our 8 panellists. I don’t think we noticed any of the women unoccupied for even a moment! Those girls who couldn’t get to a panellist yet ran around the room trying to find Stemettes with certain qualities – is your favourite colour red? DId you want to be a popstar when you were growing up? Do you live in London? I’ve never heard someone sound so disappointed and then storm off when I told them I have never wanted to be a popstar.
Food eaten, drinks drunk, networking done, it was time to head back into the lecture theatre for the results of our competitions that we ran throughout the day. Prizes and photo opps abounded and then it was home time for mummies & daddies, Big & Little Stemettes, while Team Stemette hopped back on a train to London.
We would like to say a BIG thank you to all our panellists on the day: Sara-Jane Dunn, Nicole Fraser, Helen Scales, Jennifer Murray, Rose Spear, Anne Clarke, Tanya Morton and our mystery man James Grimes. We couldn’t have run such a successful event without the support of Cambridge Women in Tech (especially Catherine Breslin) and Cambridge AWiSE who ran this event with us and together found our lovely ladies (and man), and of course Microsoft’s Natalya and Holly (who handled logistics).