In 2019 there were over 1 million women in core science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) roles in the UK. Despite this, they only make up 24% of the core STEM workforce.
Oxted resident Alex Knight, founder of Stemazing Ltd., believes this is, in part, down to a lack of visible female STEM role models, something she is determined to change.
A qualified chartered engineer, Alex spent 15 years in the industry, from being part of a small start-up medical company to working on some of the UK’s biggest infrastructure projects. Doing voluntary work concentrating on the importance of diversity and inclusion within STEM was the foundation for a side project finding women in STEM who could encourage young people into STEM careers.
During 2020, Alex found juggling work, home-schooling and running her project overwhelming, and made a decision:
“I enjoyed my job but I couldn’t do everything. I wanted to focus my energy on something that really mattered to me. So, I resigned and set up Stemazing Ltd, which comprises Stemazing Women and Stemazing Kids.”
Stemazing Women provides mentoring and support to women in STEM, developing their potential and empowering them to be more visible.
Stemazing Women also features ‘‘Meet the women in STEM’ videos, which allow girls and young women to see a diverse range of women in different STEM jobs.”
Stemazing Kids provides live online weekly classes of STEM activities for children aged 5 – 9, all of which can be done with basic household items, and which Alex tests with her children first.
The latest Stemazing initiative is The Inspiration Academy. Alex guides women in STEM through a four-month programme building their confidence on camera and their STEM delivery toolbox. They are then matched to a primary school and deliver six weeks of live online Stemazing Kids sessions.
t has been gathering attention:
“Word spread quickly through social media and more people have asked to be involved than I was anticipating. There will be 45 women in the first round, and there is a waiting list for the next one. Local schools should contact me if they’d like to participate. ”
Women have expressed interest in the Inspiration Academy from Australia and Africa: the logistics of involving them will bring fresh challenges. But Alex isn’t daunted:
‘Engineers are problem solvers. I’ll find a way to make it a success!”
Get involved at:www.stemazingltd.com