Inspiring the next generation of female STEM professionals

East Norfolk’s innovative approach to encouraging young women into STEM subjects is reaping rewards as the College outperforms the National average statistics.

Nationally, there remains a shortage of women choosing post-16 pathways in the STEM subjects, but the data for East Norfolk clearly shows that the College is bucking that trend.

For Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry, the number of female students is well above the national average:

National Average 2017/18                  Females %                                 EN female % 2018/19

Maths                                                       39.7                                                      41.3

Further Maths                                         28.6                                                     46.7

Physics                                                    22.0                                                      40.0

Chemistry                                               52.8                                                     69.1

Not only are more girls choosing to take the STEM subjects, but they are achieving great results too.

Former EN student Maisie Wright achieved A*A*A*A* in Maths, Further Maths, Physics & Chemistry in August 2019 and is now studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge. She says; “I chose to study STEM subjects because I’d enjoyed them the most in high school and was keen to learn more about how the world around me functioned. My experience of studying at EN was amazing, and I can confidently say I would not be studying at Cambridge without the support and encouragement from my teachers in terms of the application process and achieving the results I did. There is definitely a place in STEM based careers for women; I strongly encourage anyone with an interest to study them, regardless of the stereotypes they’re associated with.”

One of EN’s core values is equality of access and diversity within the College. Students have the opportunity to take part in national competitions such as the UKMT Maths Challenge and the Youth STEMM Awards, with a sharp focus on encouraging all students to participate.

EN also works closely with major local businesses including Vattenfall, EEEGR, James Paget University Hospitals, Gardline and 3Sun so students are given the opportunity to see at first hand the range of roles for women in STEM careers. The College also offers masterclasses within local secondary schools to support the delivery of STEM, to highlight the quality of delivery of those subjects at EN and inspire future generations of students.

Our approach is to inspire students across the College to believe in themselves and to take whatever path they want to through their studies. By developing the whole student, we give student’s the confidence and determination to be successful in whatever they choose to do.

It also helps that 60% of the teaching staff who deliver STEM subjects at EN are women, another positive piece of the jigsaw puzzle when set against the national picture. They, along with the female EN students, are great role models for other young women who are considering a pathway within STEM.

If you’ve been inspired by this and to find out more about the widest range of STEM subjects outside of Cambridge, visit www.eastnorfolk.ac.uk or contact the Admissions Team on 01493 662234.