1 year ago

Leading Women of Scotland


Talat Yaqoob Director

Talat Yaqoob Director Equate Scotland Welcome Scotland has a rich history in scientific inventions and engineering feats; the development of the steam engine, the invention of the bicycle, the discovery of penicillin and the first telephone. However, a brief glance at any review of Scotland’s scientific past shows they have one thing in common: the list will be dominated by men. At the time of these scientific milestones, women were largely absent from science, engineering, technology and the built environment. Society’s entrenched stereotype of what women could and should do prevented them from being able to partake in education or employment. But there are several women who ignored these stereotypes, who not only took part, but led the way in scientific innovation. History largely ignores them, but at Equate Scotland we want to celebrate them and the women who have followed. We have collated a few examples of inspirational women of STEM from the past and present to recognise their 4

contribution to not only Scotland’s advancement but to global modernisation. We have also included inspirational women of the future. These are young women making a difference in the early stages of their careers and already leading the way in STEM. The women we have included have been narrowed down from a list of hundreds. Today and in our history, there are countless women who have contributed to making Scotland what it is, and it is imperative that we tell their stories loudly and proudly. This collection is just a glimpse of the talent and creativity of the women in STEM. It may seem that the absence of women in STEM is a problem of the past, but the stereotypes that existed when penicillin was discovered still exist today. Women are still the minority in STEM: only 2% of engineering apprentices are women, less than 2% of the construction industry are women and only 10% of managers in STEM industries are women. We have a long way to go to tackle occupational segregation but by telling the stories of these pioneering women, we can inspire other women to do the same and encourage industry to actively recruit and support women into the STEM sector. Equate Scotland is celebrating 10 years of working to create a more equal STEM sector, where we all benefit from the intellect, creativity and capabilities of women. In the years to come, we hope that through our work, we will see a significant shift in STEM and enjoy the economic, cultural and societal benefit of having more women succeed in the industry. 5

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