Skye’s the limit for STEM enthusiast

As we celebrate International Women’s Day it is encourage to know that female students at City of Glasgow College are leading the charge to encourage more girls into STEM subjects.

Only 15% of women are in STEM jobs in the UK, despite making up about half the workforce. But HND Computer Science student, Skye Kirwan, and her fellow female students, are trying to change that.

The 20-year-old is a leading voice with the college’s STEMGirl society which promotes science, technology, engineering and maths to female students. A former pupil of Largs Academy, Skye always enjoyed maths and knew early on she wanted to study an analytical subject.

Now in her final year, the computer student was attracted to Scotland’s Super College by its ultra-modern campus facilities, impressive record of achievement in technical subjects and its city centre location.

“The college’s teaching reputation and the level of support available also influenced my choice, as well as its positive atmosphere.”

Skye has become a pivotal figure in the college’s STEMGirl society, set up with fellow students, Shiksha and Madihah. They were inspired after the college enrolled them onto Dell’s STEM Aspire programme that mentors female STEM students.

As part of its ongoing commitment to STEM, City of Glasgow College carries out a tremendous amount of work to promote gender equality and encourage women into these areas. A gender action plan, developed in partnership with Equate Scotland, has seen commitments made to tackling imbalance through positive action.

Skye was recruited as an Equate Scotland Student Champion for the college, together with classmates Amie and Karolina.

The club has a presence on social media and it is attracting female students from related courses.

“Our Students’ Association helps market the society and we receive support from Equate Scotland. Currently we have about 15 active members who regularly attend our meetings and events,” says Skye.

As part of its programme of activities, the club visits schools to talk to female pupils, and regularly hosts speakers such as Lorna Bennet who won the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Women’s Engineering Society (WES) prize last December.

There is still much progress to be made but for Skye and her fellow STEMGirls the future is all about possibilities.